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I PRINTING INSTRUCTIONS 



j THE POETICAL WORKS 



THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




ENDOWED BY THE 

DIALECTIC AND PHILANTHROPIC 

SOCIETIES 



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A 1 
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THE ALDINE EDITION 

OF THE BRITISH 

POETS 

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THE POEMS OF BEATTIE 




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THE POETICAL WORKS OF 

JAMES BEATTIE^^FNOR^ 



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LONDON 

GEORGE BELL & SONS, YORK STREET 

CO VENT GARDEN 



CH1SWICK PRESS .— C. WHITTINGHAM AND CO., TOOKS COURT, 
CHANCERY LANE. 



CONTENTS. 




Page 



(EMOTR of Beattie, by the Rev. Alexander 

Dyce i 

The Minstrel ; or, the Progress of Genius, 

Book 1 7 

The Minstrel ; or, the Progress of Genius, 

Book II 35 

Retirement 62 

Elegy written in the year 1758 65 

Ode "to Hope 68 

Ode on Lord Hay's birthday 73 

The battle of the Pigmies and Cranes, from the Pyg- 

mseo-gerano-machia of Addison 77 

The Hares, a Fable 85 

Epitaph ; being part of an inscription designed for a 
monument erected by a Gentleman to the memory 

of his Lady 93 

The Hermit 94 



PIECES REJECTED BY THE AUTHOR FROM THE LATER 
EDITIONS OP HIS POEMS. 

The Judgment of Paris 99 

Ode to Peace 122 

The triumph of Melancholy 129 

Elegy 138 

Elegy 140 

The Wolf and Shepherds 143 

On the report of a monument to be erected in West- 
minster Abbey, to the memory of a late author . . 148 
Song, in imitation of Shakespeare's 'Blow, blow, thou 

winter wind' 156 

Epitaph on two young men of the name of Leitch, who 

were drowned in crossing the River Southesk, 1757 157 

Epitaph intended for himself 158 



^ 



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* 



VI CONTENTS. 

Page 
Verses written by Mr. Blacklock, on a blank leaf of his 

poems, sent to the author 159 

An epistle to the Rev. Mr. Thomas Blacklock . • • 160 
To the Rt. Hon. Lady Charlotte Gordon, dressed in a 

tartan Scotch bonnet, with plumes 169 

Anacreon, Ode XXII 170 

The beginning of the first book of Lucretius . . . . 170 

Horace, Book II. Ode X 173 

Book III. Ode XIII 174 

Virgil, Pastoral 1 176 

II 183 

III 188 

IV 198 

V 203 

VI 210 

VII 215 

VIII 221 

IX 228 

X 234 

Epitaph for a Sheriffs messenger, written and published 
at the particular desire of the person for whom it is 

intended 239 

To Mr. Alexander Ross, at Lochlee, author of ' The 
Fortunate Shepherdess,' and other poems in the broad 

Scotch dialect 240 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

BY THE REV. ALEXANDER DYCE. 



" Heard you that Hermit's strain from , Scotia borne, 
' For virtue lost, and ruined man I mourn ?' 
Who may forget thee, Beattie ? who supply 
The tale half- told of Edwin's minstrelsy ?" 

The Pursuits of Literature. 



I HE subject of this memoir was born 
on the 25th of October, 1735, at 
Laurencekirk, in the county of Kin- 
cardine, Scotland. His father, James 
Beattie, who kept a small shop in the village at 
the same time that he rented a little farm in the 
neighbourhood, was a man of considerable talents 
and acquirements : * his mother, too, was distin- 
guished for her abilities. Our author, James, 

* " At his leisure hours he cultivated the muses. A jour- 
nal kept by him, as well as some specimens of his poetry, 
are still in the possession of his descendants. This last cir- 
cumstance is the more worthy of being noticed, as it proves 
that Dr. Beattie derived his poetical turn from his father." — 
Bower's Life of Beattie, 1804, p. 2. 




Vlll MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

was the youngest of the six children of this respec- 
table pair. 

After his father's decease, which happened 
when he was only seven years old, his mother, 
by means of the emoluments derived from the 
shop and the farm, was enabled to bring up her 
family in comfort. In the management of her 
affairs she was assisted by her eldest son, David, 
a youth of eighteen, who generously and affec- 
tionately relinquished all other pursuits for that 
of promoting her welfare and happiness, and who 
appears to have fostered his brothers and sisters 
with an almost parental care. James was placed 
at the parish school of Laurencekirk, which was 
then in some repute, and of which, about forty 
years before, Ruddiman, the famous grammarian, 
had been the master. At this time he had access 
to few books, except those which the minister of 
the village (the Rev. Mr. Thomson) kindly lent 
him, and which he read with avidity. It was 
then that he first became acquainted with Eng- 
lish versification in Ogilby's Virgil. Even then 
he was known among his schoolfellows by the 
name of the poet; and sometimes he would rise 
from bed, during the night, that he might commit 
to writing any poetical idea that his fancy had 
happened to suggest. 

In 1749 he began his academical career, at the 
Marischal College, Aberdeen : * and as his cir- 

* According to Bower, Beattie was supported at college 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. IX 

cumstances were straitened, he became a com- 
petitor — and with success — for one of those bur- 
saries or exhibitions, which are annually bestowed 
on students who are unable to support the entire 
expenses of a university education. He attended 
the Greek class taught by Dr. Blackwell. This 
scholar, whose writings on classical subjects,* 
though now fallen into disrepute, once enjoyed 
considerable popularity, soon discovered that his 
pupil was no ordinary young man, and distin- 
guished him by several encouraging marks of ap- 
probation. The kindness of the Professor made a 
deep impression on the mind of Beattie, and he 
used to declare in after life, that Blackwell was 
the first person who gave him reason to believe 
that he was possessed of any genius. During the 
four years of his attendance at the Marischal 
College he also studied philosophy and divinity. 
The last mentioned- branch of knowledge he pur- 



by the generosity of his brother David, who accompanied him 
to Aberdeen, when he first quitted Laurencekirk to com- 
mence his course at the University. " The peculiar mode of 
their conveyance to Aberdeen is a matter of very trifling 
moment. It may not be unacceptable to some, however, to 
be informed, that they rode on one horse ; and at a season 
of the year not the most agreeable for undertaking a jour- 
ney (when good roads were unknown in Scotland) of thirty 
English miles."— Life of Beattie, 1804, p. 17. 
* Lift of. Homer, Court of Augustus, &c. 



X MEMOIR OF BEATTIE 

sued doubtless with a view to the ministry, the 
church being then the chief resource of the well 
educated sons of the poorer classes in Scotland : 
he, however, soon abandoned all thoughts of the 
clerical profession. 

Having taken the degree of M.A., he was 
elected, on the first of August, 1753, schoolmaster 
of Fordoun, a small hamlet at the foot of the 
Grampian hills, about six miles distant from his 
birth-place : here also he officiated as praecentor, or 
parish clerk. 

Many an hour was now spent by Beattie in 
perfect solitude; the family of Mr. Forbes, the 
minister, being almost the only society, save the 
surrounding peasantry, which his situation allowed 
him to enjoy. But his days went happily by. 
When not occupied by his public duties, he ap- 
pears to have devoted a portion of his time to the 
study of the classics ;* and occasionally he amused 
himself by composing little poems, a few of which 
were printed in the Scots Magazine. His fond- 
ness for music had ever been decided ; and in his 
present retirement he cultivated it with uncommon 
success.f In the grand and beautiful scenery of 
the neighbourhood he found a never-failing source 
of pleasure. Not far from the place where he 
dwelt, a large and well wooded glen communi- 

* Bower's Life of Beattie, 1804, p. 89. 
t Ibid, p. 100. 



MEMOIR OF BE ATT IE. XI 

cates with the mountains. In it he loved to 
wander ; in it some of his earliest verses were 
written; and his recollections of its wild and 
romantic charms may be traced in several vivid 
descriptions of nature in his poetical works. 
Sometimes he would pass the whole night among 
the fields, gazing on the sky, and observing the 
various aspects it assumed till the return of 
day ; and the exhilarating song of " the lyric 
lark" in the mornings of summer used to fill 
him with delight. In 1755, his loneliness was 
cheered by the arrival of his brother David, 
who came to settle himself at the village of For- 
doun. 

The celebrated and eccentric Francis Garden, 
Esq. (afterwards one of the judges of the supreme 
courts of civil and criminal law in Scotland, by 
the title of Lord Gardenstone,) who was then 
sheriff of the county of Kincardine, and occa- 
sionally resided in the neighbourhood of Fordoun, 
was the earliest patron of our author. They 
accidentally became acquainted with each other. 
Mr. Garden having one day discovered Beattie 
busily writing with a pencil in his favourite 
glen, and learning that he was engaged in the 
composition of a poem,* from that period took 
him under his protection. 

* Lord Gardenstone was himself a votary of the Muses, 
though his verses are now forgotten. As a satirical poet he 
is far from contemptible. 



Xll MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

At this time too he became known to another 
more celebrated and more eccentric character, 
Lord Monboddo, whose family estate is in the 
parish of Fordoun ; and though their opinions on 
some important points by no means coincided, 
they ever after lived on friendly terms. 

In 1757, the place of usher in the grammar- 
school of Aberdeen being vacant, Beattie, by the 
advice of Mr. Forbes, the minister of Fordoun, 
became a candidate for it, but without success. 
So conspicuously, however, had his abilities mani- 
fested themselves during his examination on that 
occasion, that the same place becoming again 
vacant about a year after, and two candidates 
having appeared, both of whom were declared 
unqualified for it, he was requested by the magis- 
trates to fill it without further trial. He was 
accordingly elected to the office on the 20th 
June, 1758. 

This was an important event in Beattie's life. 
From a secluded hamlet, where there was the 
greatest difficulty in obtaining either society or 
books, he was transplanted to a populous and 
flourishing town, where he might associate with 
those whose tastes were congenial with his own, 
and carry on his literary pursuits by means of 
public libraries. The friend of his earlier years, 
Professor Blackwell, had sunk into the grave; 
but he had soon the good fortune to become 
intimately acquainted with several persons of 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. Xlll 

acknowledged talents and learning, connected 
with the Marischal and King's Colleges, as also 
with various well educated gentlemen, inhabitants 
of the town. 

In 1760, a chair in the Marischal College be- 
coming vacant, it was suggested to Beattie by 
his friend, Mr. Arbuthnot,* that he should endea- 
vour to procure the appointment for himself. 
Our author, who had never dreamed of aspiring 
to so dignified a situation, heard the proposal 
with astonishment. Mr. Arbuthnot, however, 
" willing to try what could be done," induced 
the Earl of Erroll, with whom he was on intimate 
terms, to solicit, by means of Lord Milton, the 
powerful interest of the Duke of Argyll in behalf 
of the humble usher. The application proved 
successful ; and on the 8th October, 1760, Beattie 
was installed Professor of Moral Philosophy and 
Logic in the Marischal College. 

His first lectures were delivered during the 
winter session of 1760, and 1761 ; and for the 
long space of more than thirty years he continued 
to discharge most conscientiously the duties of 
the important station to which he had been so 
unexpectedly raised. 

* Robert Arbuthnot, Esq , Secretary to the Board of 
Trustees for Fisheries, Manufactures, and Improvements in 
Scotland, who resided chiefly at Peterhead, where he carried 
on business as a merchant ; a person of considerable taste 
and learning. He was nearly related to the famous Dr. Ar- 
buthnot, the friend of Pope and Swift. 



XIV MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

A literary and convivial club (to which the 
vulgar gave the nickname of the Wise Club) had 
been established for some years at Aberdeen, the 
members consisting of the Professors of the Ma- 
rischal and King's Colleges, and of gentlemen of 
the town, who had a taste for literature and con- 
versation. Into this society Beattie was now 
enrolled. They used to meet at a tavern, once 
a fortnight, at five o'clock in the afternoon, (for 
in those days the common dinner-hour was early) 
when, the President taking the chair, an essay 
was read, composed by one of the members in 
his turn, and a literary or philosophical subject 
discussed : at half past eight a slight meal was 
served up, and at ten they retired to their homes. 
To this club Dr. Reid, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Gerrard, 
and Dr. Gregory belonged; and from it several 
admired works of philosophy and criticism may 
be said to have originated. 

In 1761, Beattie made his first appearance in 
print, in his own character, by publishing a small 
volume, dedicated to the Earl of Erroll, entitled 
Original Poems and Translations. It consisted 
partly of some of the verses which he had for- 
merly sent to the Scots Magazine, and partly of 
pieces which he had recently composed. " This 
collection," says his good-natured and not very 
tasteful biographer, Sir William Forbes, "was 
very favourably received, and stamped Dr. Beattie 
with the character of a poet of great and original 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. rv 

genius." It was certainly " favourably received," 
the chief critical journals of the day being unani- 
mous in its praise; but that it "stamped the 
author with the character of a poet of great and 
original genius," I cannot allow. The truth is, 
it does not contain a single poem which rises 
much above mediocrity ; and if Beattie had never 
touched the lyre with a more powerful hand, a 
memoir of his life would not have been required 
for the Aldine Poets. So lightly, indeed, did he 
himself afterwards think of the collection in 
question, that he used to destroy all the copies of 
it which he could procure, and would only suffer 
four pieces from it (and these much altered and 
improved) to stand in the same volume with The 
Minstrel. 

During the summer of 1763, Beattie for the 
first time visited London, among the inhabitants 
of which, Millar, his publisher, was almost his only 
acquaintance. While residing there, he made a 
pilgrimage to Pope's villa at Twickenham. 

The Judgment of Paris, printed in 4to. in 1765, 
was the least successful of our author's poetical 
works. Several passages of considerable beauty 
could not prevent this elaborate, cold, and meta- 
physical production from being utterly neglected 
by the public. 

That his Lines On the report of a monument to be 
erected to Churchill (which appeared anonymously 
very soon after The Judgment of Paris) were read 



XVI MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

with more attention, is to be attributed rather to 
the subject of the piece than to its intrinsic merit.* 
No one can peruse it without regretting that the 
amiable Beattie should have been betrayed by 
political feelings into such virulent abuse of a man 
of genius, who had just been gathered to the poets 
of other days. He is said to have written it at the 
solicitation of certain friends in Scotland, where 
the name of Churchill was held in detestation ; and 
on these injudicious instigators let a portion of the 
odium rest. 

In the autumn of 1765, Gray, who was then 
regarded as the first of living bards, paid a visit 
to the Earl of Strathmore at Glammis castle. No 
sooner did Beattie hear of his arrival, than he ad- 
dressed to him the following letter : 

Marischal College of Aberdeen, 80th August, 1765. 
" If I thought it necessary to offer an apology for 
venturing to address you in this abrupt manner, 
I should be very much at a loss how to begin. I 
might plead my admiration of your genius, and my 
attachment to your character ; but who is he, that 
could not, with truth, urge the same excuse for 

* Sir William Forbes says it " had a rapid sale." Mr. 
A. Chalmers, however (Poets, vol. xviii. p. 519), doubts if 
it was ever published for sale, except in Beattie's Poems, 
1766, in the Advertisement to which we are told that it 
" appeared in a separate pamphlet in the beginning of the 
year 1765." I have been unable to meet with the original 
edition. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XV11 

intruding upon your retirement ? I might plead 
my earnest desire to be personally acquainted with 
a man whom I have so long and so passionately 
admired in his writings; but thousands of greater 
consequence than I are ambitious of the same 
honour. I, indeed, must either natter myself 
that no apology is necessary, or otherwise I must 
despair of obtaining what has long been the ob- 
ject of my most ardent wishes ; I must for ever 
forfeit all hopes of seeing you, and conversing 
with you. 

" It was yesterday I received the agreeable 
news of your being in Scotland, and of your in- 
tending to visit some parts of it. Will you per- 
mit us to hope, that we shall have an opportunity, 
at Aberdeen, of thanking you in person, for the 
honour you have done to Britain, and to the poetic 
art, by your inestimable compositions, and of of- 
fering you all that we have that deserves your ac- 
ceptance, namely, hearts full of esteem, respect, 
and affection ? If you cannot come so far north- 
ward, let me at least be acquainted with the place 
of your residence, and permitted to wait on you. 
Forgive, sir, this request ; forgive me if I urge 
it with earnestness, for indeed it concerns me 
nearly ; and do me the justice to believe, that I am, 
with the most sincere attachment, and most res- 
pectful esteem, &c. &c. &c. 

" P. S. Dr. Carlysle of Musselburgh, and Dr. 
b 



XV111 MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

Wight of Glasgow, acquainted me of your being in 
Scotland. It was from them I learned that my 
name was not wholly unknown to you." 

In consequence of this letter, Beattie received 
an invitation to Glammis castle ; and a friendship 
and correspondence commenced between the two 
poets, which terminated only with the death of 
Gray. The impression which their first meeting 
made on our author he thus describes in a letter 
to Sir William Forbes : — " I am sorry you did not 
see Mr. Gray on his return ; you would have been 
much pleased with him. Setting aside his merit 
as a poet, which, however, in my opinion, is greater 
than any of his contemporaries can boast, in this 
or in any other nation, I found him possessed 
of the most exact taste, the soundest judgment, 
and the most extensive learning. He is happy 
in a singular facility of expression. His conver- 
sation abounds in original observations, delivered 
with no appearance of sententious formality, and 
seeming to arise spontaneously without study or 
premeditation. I passed two very agreeable days 
with him at Glammis, and found him as easy in his 
manners, and as communicative and frank, as I 
could have wished." 

A new edition of our author's Poems came forth 
in 1766. From it a large portion of the pieces 
published in the former collection was rejected ; 
while The Judgment of Paris, the Lines on the 
proposed monument to Churchill, and one or two 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XIX 

copies of verses never before printed, supplied the 
deficiency. The translation of Addison's Pygmceo- 
gerano-machia, which concludes the volume, is re- 
markable for its spirited and graceful versification. 

In a lettter to Dr. Blacklock, dated 22nd Sep- 
tember in the same year, Beattie thus alludes to 
his great work, The Minstrel : — 

" Not long ago I began a poem in the style and 
stanza of Spenser, in which I propose to give full 
scope to my inclination, and be either droll or 
pathetic, descriptive or sentimental, tender or sa- 
tirical, as the humour strikes me ; for, if I mistake 
not, the manner which I have adopted admits 
equally of all these kinds of composition. I have 
written one hundred and fifty lines, and am sur- 
prised to find the structure of that complicated 
stanza so little troublesome. I was always fond 
of it, for I think it the most harmonious that ever 
was contrived. It admits of more variety of 
pauses than either the couplet or the alternate 
rhyme ; and it concludes with a pomp and majesty 
of sound, which, to my ear, is wonderfully delight- 
ful. It seems also very well adapted to the genius 
of our language, which, from its irregularity of 
inflexion and number of monosyllables, abounds 
in diversified terminations, and consequently ren- 
ders our poetry susceptible of an endless variety 
of legitimate rhymes. But I am so far from in- 
tending this performance for the press, that I am 
morally certain it never will be finished. I 3haU 



XX MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

add a stanza now and then, when I am at leisure, 
and when I have no humour for any other amuse- 
ment ; but I am resolved to write no more poetry 
with a view to publication, till I see some dawn- 
ings of a poetical taste among the generality of 
readers, of which, however, there is not at present 
anything like an appearance." 

Writing to Sir William Forbes, 8th January, 
1767, our author gives an account of the cause 
of his composing The Hermit, the most perfect 
of his minor poems : — 

" The favourable reception you gave to my little 
poem, demands my acknowledgments. I aimed 
at simplicity in the expression, and something 
like uncommonness in the thought ; and I own I 
am not ill pleased with it upon the whole ; though 
I am sensible it does not answer the purpose for 
which I made it. I wrote it at the desire of a young 
lady of this country, who has a taste both for 
poetry and music, and wanted me to make words 
for a Scots tune called ' Pentland Hills,' of which 
she is very fond. The verses correspond well 
enough with the measure and subject of the tune, 
but are extremely unsuitable for the purpose of a 
song. 1 

1 I have been told that the poem consisted originally of 
only four stanzas, and that the two beautiful ones with which 
it now concludes were added, a considerable time after the 
otbers were written, at the request of Mrs. Carnegie, of 
Charlton, near Montrose. This lady, whose maiden name 
was Scott, was authoress of a poem called Dunotter Castle, 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. xxi 

To Dr. Blacklock he again writes concerning 
The Minstrel : — 

"Aberdeen, 20th May, 1767. 
" My performance in Spenser's stanza has not 
advanced a single line these many months. It 
is called 'The Minstrel.' The subject was sug- 
gested by a dissertation on the old minstrels, which 
is prefixed to a collection of ballads lately pub- 
lished by Dodsley in three volumes. I propose to 
give an account of the birth, education, and ad- 
ventures of one of those bards ; in which I shall 
have full scope for description, sentiment, satire, 
and even a certain species of humour and of pathos, 
which, in the opinion of my great master, are by 
no means inconsistent, as is evident from his works. 
My hero is to be born in the south of Scotland ; 
which you know was the native land of the English 
minstrels ; I mean of those minstrels who travelled 
into England, and supported themselves there by 
singing their ballads to the harp. His father is a 
shepherd. The son will have a natural taste for 
music and the beauties of nature; which, how- 
ever, languishes for want of culture, till in due 
time he meets with a hermit, who gives him some 
instruction ; but endeavours to check his genius for 

printed in the second edition of Colman and Thornton's 
Poems by Eminent Ladies. 

1 Pentland Hills,' for which Beattie wrote The Hermit, was 
an air composed by Mr. Tytler, of Woodhouselee, in imitation 
of the old Scottish melodies. 



XX11 MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

poetry and adventures, by representing the happi- 
ness of obscurity and solitude, and the bad recep- 
tion which poetry has met with in almost every age. 
The poor swain acquiesces in this advice, and re- 
solves to follow his father's employment; when, 
on a sudden, the country is invaded by the Danes, 
or English borderers, (I know not which,) and he 
is stript of all his little fortune, and obliged by 
necessity to commence minstrel. This is all that 
I have as yet concerted of the plan. I have written 
one hundred and fifty lines, but my hero is not yet 
born, though now in a fair way of being so, for 
his parents are described and married. I know 
not whether I shall ever proceed any farther: 
however, I am not dissatisfied with what I have 
written." 

On the 28th June, 1767, Beattie was married at 
Aberdeen to Miss Mary Dun, only daughter of 
the rector of the Grammar-school in that city ; a 
mutual attachment having for some time existed 
between them. She was a few years younger than 
our author : her person was pleasing, her manners 
were lively ; and she possessed a moderate share 
of accomplishments. This union, which seemed 
to promise nothing but happiness to Beattie, threw 
the blight of misery over his later years, and un- 
doubtedly contributed to shorten his career. The 
woman whom he had selected as a partner for life 
inherited from her mother the most dreadful of 
human maladies, — insanity; which, a few years 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXlll 

after marriage, displayed itself in strange follies 
and caprices, 1 and at last broke forth with such 
violence, as to render her separation from her 
family absolutely necessary. By this lady he had 
two sons, of whom particular mention will be made 
hereafter. 

Beattie now employed himself on the composi- 
tion of his Essay on Truth, a work, which was to 
be honoured with such marks of public approba- 
tion, as the most sanguine author in his wildest 
dreams of success could hardly have anticipated. 
In a letter to Sir William Forbes, dated 17th Ja- 
nuary, 1768, he says : — 

" I have, for a time, laid aside my favourite 
studies, that 1 might have leisure to prosecute a 
philosophical inquiry, less amusing indeed than 
poetry and criticism, but not less important. The 
extraordinary success of the sceptical philosophy 
has long filled me with regret. I wish I could 
undeceive mankind in regard to this matter. Per- 
haps this wish is vain ; but it can do no harm to 
make the trial. The point I am now labouring 
to prove, is the universality and immutability of 
moral sentiment, — a point which has been brought 
into dispute, both by the friends and by the ene- 
mies of virtue. In an age less licentious in its 

1 On one occasion, I have been informed, she took some 
China jars from the chimney-piece, and carefully arranged 
them on the top of the parlour door, in order that when 
Beattie opened it, they might fall upon his head. 



XXIV MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

principles, it would not, perhaps, be necessary to 
insist much on this point. At present it is very- 
necessary. Philosophers have ascribed all religion 
to human policy. Nobody knows how soon they 
may ascribe all morality to the same origin ; and 
then the foundations of human society, as well as 
of human happiness, will be effectually undermined. 
To accomplish this end, Hobbes, Hume, Mande- 
ville, and even Locke, have laboured; and, I am 
sorry to say, from my knowledge of mankind, that 
their labour has not been altogether in vain. Not 
that the works of these philosophers are generally 
read, or even understood by the few who read 
them. It is not the mode, now-a-days, for a man 
to think for himself; but they greedily adopt the 
conclusions, without any concern about the argu- 
ments or principles whence they proceed; and 
they justify their own credulity by general decla- 
mations upon the transcendent merit of their fa- 
vourite authors, and the universal deference that 
is paid to their genius and learning. If I can 
prove those authors guilty of gross misrepresenta- 
tions of matters of fact, unacquainted with the 
human heart, ignorant even of their own principles, 
the dupes of verbal ambiguities, and the votaries of 
frivolous, though dangerous philosophy, I shall do 
some little service to the cause of truth ; and all 
this I will undertake to prove in many instances 
of high importance." 

During this year, a poem in broad Scotch, en- 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXV 

titled The Fortunate Shepherdess, by Alexander 
Ross, schoolmaster, of Lochlee, was printed by 
subscription at Aberdeen ; and in order to excite 
some curiosity about the volume, Beattie good- 
naturedly wrote a copy of verses in the same dia- 
lect, addressed to the author, which appeared in 
the Aberdeen Journal.* 

He thus communicates to Dr. Blacklock his 
motives for attempting the laborious prose work, 
with which he was still occupied : — 

"Aberdeen, 9th January, 1769. 
" It was very kind in you to read over my ' Essay 
on the Immutability of Moral Sentiment' with so 
much attention. I wish it deserved any part of 
the high encomium you bestowed on it. I flatter 
myself it will receive considerable improvements 
from a second transcribing, which I intend to begin 
as soon as I can. Some parts of it will be enlarged, 

* Beattie's verses were printed in the Aberdeen Journal, 
together with an introductory letter in prose also by him, 
signed '.' Oliver Oldstile." The writer of the Life of Ross, 
in that pleasing compilation, Lives of Scottish Poets, 3 vols. 
1822, says : " The author of both productions was generally 
understood to be Dr. Beattie ; and they have remained so 
tong ascribed to him without contradiction, that there can be 
little doubt of their being from his pen." Part iii. p. 107. 
There is no doubt about the matter : Beattie owns them in a 
letter to Blacklock. — Forbes' Life of Beattie, vol. i. p. 153, 
ed. 1807. The Fortunate Shepherdess is a poem of great 
merit : to the second edition of it (and I believe to all sub- 
sequent editions) Beattie's verses are prefixed. 



XXVI MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

and others (perhaps) shortened : the examples 
from history, and authorities from ancient authors, 
will be more numerous ; it will be regularly dis- 
tributed into chapters and sections, and the lan- 
guage will be corrected throughout. The first part, 
which treats of the permanency of truth in general, 
is now in great forwardness ; ninety pages in quarto 
are finished, and materials provided for as many 
more. The design of the whole you will guess from 
the partyouhave seen. It is to overthrow scepticism, 
and establish conviction in its place ; a conviction 
not in the least favourable to bigotry or prejudice, 
far less to a persecuting spirit ; but such a con- 
viction as produces firmness of mind, and stability 
of principle, in a consistence with moderation, 
candour, and liberal inquiry. If I understand my 
own design, it is certainly this ; whether I shall 
accomplish this design or not, the event only will 
determine. Meantime I go on with cheerfulness 
in this intricate and fatiguing study, because T 
would fain hope that it may do some good ; harm 
I think it cannot possibly do any. 

" Perhaps you are anxious to know what first 
induced me to write on the subject; I will tell 
you as briefly as I can. In my younger days I 
read chiefly for the sake of amusement, and I 
found myself best amused with the classics, and 
what we call the belles lettres. Metaphysics I dis- 
liked ; mathematics pleased me better • but I 
found my mind neither improved nor gratified by 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXVll 

that study. When Providence allotted me my 
present station, it became incumbent on me to 
read what had been written on the subject of 
morals and human nature : the works of Locke, 
Berkeley, and Hume, were celebrated as master- 
pieces in this way ; to them, therefore, I had re- 
course. But, as I began to study them with great 
prejudices in their favour, you will readily con- 
ceive how strangely I was surprised to find them, 
as I thought, replete with absurdities : I pondered 
these absurdities ; I weighed the arguments, with 
which I was sometimes not a little confounded ; 
and the result was, that I began at last to suspect 
my own understanding, and to think that I had not 
capacity for such a study. For I could not conceive 
it possible, that the absurdities of these authors 
were so great as they seemed to me to be ; other- 
wise, thought I, the world would never admire 
them so much. About this time some excellent 
antisceptical works made their appearance, parti- 
cularly Reid's ' Inquiry into the Human Mind.' 
Then it was that I began to have a little more 
confidence in my own judgment, when I found it 
confirmed by those of whose abilities I did not en- 
tertain the least distrust. I reviewed my authors 
again, with a very different temper of mind. A 
very little truth will sometimes enlighten a vast 
extent of science. I found that the sceptical 
philosophy was not what the world imagined it to 
be, nor what I, following the opinion of the world. 



XXV1U MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

had hitherto imagined it to be, but a frivolous, 
though dangerous, system of verbal subtilty, which 
it required neither genius, nor learning, nor taste, 
nor knowledge of mankind, to be aole to put to- 
gether ; but only a captious temper, an irreligious 
spirit, a moderate command of words, and an ex- 
traordinary degree of vanity and presumption. 
You v/ill easily perceive that I am speaking of 
this philosophy only in its most extravagant state, 
that is, as it appears in the works of Mr. Hume. 
The more I study it, the more am I confirmed in 
this opinion. But while I applauded and admired 
the sagacity of those who led me into, or at least 
encouraged me to proceed in, this train of think- 
ing, I was not altogether satisfied with them in 
another respect. I could not approve that extra- 
ordinary adulation which some of them paid to 
their arch-adversary. I could not conceive the 
propriety of paying compliments to a man's heart, 
at the very time one is proving that his aim is to 
subvert the principles of truth, virtue, and religion ; 
nor to his understanding, when we are charging 
him with publishing the grossest and most con- 
temptible nonsense. I thought I then foresaw, 
what I have since found to happen, that this con- 
troversy will be looked upon rather as a trial of 
skill between two logicians, than as a disquisition 
in which the best interests of mankind were con- 
cerned ; and that the world, especially the fashion- 
able part of it, would still be disposed to pay the 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXIX 

greatest deference to the opinions of him who, 
even by the acknowledgment of his antagonists, 
was confessed to be the best philosopher and the 
soundest reasoner. All this has happened, and 
more. Some, to my certain knowledge, have said, 
that Mr. Hume and his adversaries did really act 
in concert, in order mutually to promote the sale 
of one another's works ; as a proof of which, they 
mention, not only the extravagant compliments 
that pass between them, but also the circumstance 
of Dr. R.* and Dr. C.f sending their manuscripts 
to be perused and corrected by Mr. Hume before 
they gave them to the press. I, who know both 
the men, am very sensible of the gross falsehood 
of these reports. As to the affair of the manu- 
scripts, it was, I am convinced, candour and mo- 
desty that induced them to it. But the world 
knows no such thing ; and, therefore, may be ex- 
cused for mistaking the meaning of actions that 
have really an equivocal appearance. I know like- 
wise that they are sincere, not only in the detes- 
tation they express for Mr. Hume's irreligious 
tenets, but also in the compliments they have paid 
to his talents ; for they both look upon him as an 
extraordinary genius; a point in which I cannot 
agree with them. But while I thus vindicate them 
from imputations, which the world, from its igno- 
rance of circumstances, has laid to their charge, I 

* Dr. Reid. t Dr. Campbell. 



XXX MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

cannot approve them in every thing ; I wish they 
had carried their researches a little farther, and 
expressed themselves with a little more firmness 
and spirit. For well I know, that their works, 
for want of this, will never produce that effect 
which (if all mankind were cool metaphysical 
reasoners) might be expected from them. There 
is another thing in which my judgment differs 
considerably from that of the gentlemen just men- 
tioned. They have great metaphysical abilities; 
and they love the metaphysical sciences. I do not. 
I am convinced, that this metaphysical spirit is 
the bane of true learning, true taste, and true 
science ; that to it we owe all this modern scepti- 
cism and atheism ; that it has a bad effect upon 
the human faculties, and tends not a little to sour 
the temper, to subvert good principles, and to dis- 
qualify men for the business of life. You will 
now see wherein my views differ from those of the 
other answerers of Mr. Hume. I want to show the 
world that the sceptical philosophy is contradictory 
to itself, and destructive of genuine philosophy, as 
well as of religion and virtue ; that it is in its own 
nature so paltry a thing (however it may have been 
celebrated by some), that to be despised it needs 
only to be known ; that no degree of genius is neces- 
sary to qualify a man for making a figure in this 
pretended science; but rather a certain minute- 
ness and suspiciousness of mind, and want of sen- 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXXI 

sibility, the very reverse of true intellectual excel- 
lence; that metaphysics cannot possibly do any 
good, but may do, and actually have done, much 
harm ; that sceptical philosophers, whatever they 
may pretend, are the corrupters of science, the 
pests of society, and the enemies of mankind. I 
want to show, that the same method of reasoning, 
which these people have adopted in their books, 
if transferred into common life, would show them 
to be destitute of common sense ; that true phi- 
losophers follow a different method of reasoning ; 
and that, without following a different method, no 
truth can be discovered. I want to lay before 
the public, in as strong a light as possible, the 
following dilemma : our sceptics either believe the 
doctrines they publish, or they do not believe 
them ; if they believe them, they are fools — if 
not, they are a thousand times worse. I want 
also to fortify the mind against this sceptical 
poison, and to propose certain criteria of mo- 
ral truth, by which some of the most dangerous 
sceptical errors may be detected and guarded 
against. 

" You are sensible, that, in order to attain 
these ends, it is absolutely necessary for me to 
use great plainness of speech. My expressions 
must not be so tame as to seem to imply either a 
diffidence in my principles, or a coldness towards 
the cause I have undertaken to defend. And 



XXXll MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

where is the man who can blame me for speak- 
ing from the heart, and therefore speaking with 
warmth, when I appear in the cause of truth, 
religion, virtue, and mankind? I am sure my 
dear friend Dr. Blacklock will not; he, who has 
set before me so many examples of this laudable 
ardour; he, whose style I should be proud to 
take for my model, if I were not aware of the 
difficulty, I may say, the insuperable difficulty, of 
imitating it with success. You need not fear, 
however, that I expose myself by an excess of 
passion or petulance. I hope I shall be animated, 
without losing my temper, and keen, without 
injury to good manners. In a word, I will be as 
soft and delicate as the subject and my conscience 
will allow. One gentleman, a friend of yours,* 
I shall have occasion to treat with much freedom. 
I have heard of his virtues. I know he has 
many virtues ; God forbid I should ever seek to 
lessen them, or wish them to be found insincere. 
I hope they are sincere, and that they will in- 
crease in number and merit every day. To his 
virtues I shall do justice ; but I must also do 
justice to his faults, at least to those faults which 
are public, and which, for the sake of truth and 
of mankind, ought not to be concealed or dis- 
guised. Personal reflections will be carefully 

* Mr. Hume, who at an early period had been the patron 
of Blacklock. Long before the date of this letter they had 
ceased to have any intercourse. 






MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXxiii 

avoided ; I hope I am in no danger of falling into 
them, for I bear no personal animosity against any 
man whatsoever; sometimes I may perhaps be 
keen ; but I trust I shall never depart from the 
Christian and philosophic character. 

" A scheme like this of mine cannot be popu- 
lar, far less can it be lucrative. It will raise me 
enemies ; it will expose me to the scrutiny of the 
most rigid criticism ; it will make me be consi- 
dered by many as a sullen and illiberal bigot. I 
trust, however, in Providence, and in the goodness 
of my cause, that my attempts in behalf of truth 
shall not be altogether ineffectual, and that my 
labours shall be attended with some utility to my 
fellow creatures. This, in my estimation, will do 
much more than counterbalance all the inconveni- 
ences I have any reason to apprehend. I have 
already fallen on evil tongues (as Milton says), 
on account of this intended publication. It has 
been reported, that I had written a most scur- 
rilous paper against Mr. Hume, and was pre- 
paring to publish it, when a friend of mine inter- 
posed, and, with very great difficulty, prevailed 
on me to suppress it, because he knew it would 
hurt or ruin my character. Such is the treatment 
I have to expect from one set of people. I was 
so provoked when I first heard this calumny, that 
I deliberated whether I should not throw my 
papers into the fire, with a Si populus vult decipi, 
decipiatw : but I rejected that thought; for so 
c 



XXXIV MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

many persons have told me, that it was my duty 
to publish these papers, that I almost begin to 
think so myself. Many have urged me to publish 
them ; none ever dissuaded me. The gentleman, 
named in the report, read the essay, and returned 
it with the highest commendations ; but I do not 
recollect that he ever spoke a syllable about pub- 
lishing or suppressing it. But I have certainly 
tired you with so long a detail, about so trifling a 
matter as my works. However, I thought it ne- 
cessary to say something by way of apology for 
them, for I find that your good opinion is of too 
much consequence to my peace, to suffer me to 
neglect any opportunity of cultivating it." 

The Essay on Truth being now finished, our 
author was desirous of selling the MS. to some 
bookseller, in order that he might avoid all risk 
to himself in the publication, and entrusted the 
care of this matter to Sir William Forbes and 
Mr. Arbuthnot. His two friends, however, having 
applied to the bookseller, whom they imagined 
the most proper person to publish the work, were 
vexed by his positive refusal to purchase it, al- 
though he had no objection to print it on Beattie's 
account. In this difficulty they generously re- 
solved to become themselves the purchasers of the 
first edition. " I therefore," says Sir William 
Forbes, " wrote to him [Beattie] (nothing surely 
but the truth, although, I confess, not the whole 
truth) that the manuscript was sold for fifty 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXXV 

guineas, which I remitted to him by a bank bill ; 
and I added, that we had stipulated with the 
bookseller who was to print the book, that we 
should be partners in the publication." 

At length in May, 1770, the Essay on Truth 
was given to the world. As it had been seen in 
manuscript by several eminent literary characters, 
and as it was understood to be a direct attack 
on the philosophy of Hume (who was then in 
the height of his popularity), its appearance ex- 
cited immediate notice. It has been said, that, 
on its publication, Hume spoke of Beattie with 
great bitterness, complaining (and I am forced 
to allow that there was some cause for the com- 
plaint) that he had not used him like a gentle- 
man : it has even been asserted that he could 
not endure the name of our author to be men- 
tioned in his presence. I suspect that in all this 
there is great exaggeration. The placid temper 
of Hume was not likely to be much ruffled by 
any thing that might be written against his 
system ; his friends and admirers were probably 
more disturbed by the attack than the philosopher 
himself. In less than four years five large edi- 
tions of the Essay were circulated, and transla- 
tions of it were made into French and other 
foreign languages. 

From the rugged paths of philosophy Beattie 
turned once more into the flowery walks of poesy. 
In 1771, the First Book of The Minstrel was 



XXXVI MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

published without the author's name. Its success 
was complete. The voice of every critic was loud 
in its praise; and before the Second Book ap- 
peared (in 1774), four editions of the First had 
been dispersed throughout the kingdom. The 
following elegant and touching encomium was 
passed upon the poem by Lord Lyttelton, in a 
letter to Mrs. Montagu, who had put the First 
Book into the hands of that virtuous nobleman : 

"Hill Street, 8th March, 1771. 

" I read your ' Minstrel ' last night, with as 
much rapture as poetry, in her noblest, sweetest 
charms, ever raised in my soul. It seemed to 
me, that my once most beloved minstrel, Thom- 
son, was come down from heaven, refined by the 
converse of purer spirits than those he lived with 
here, to let me hear him sing again the beauties 
of nature, and the finest feelings of virtue, not 
with human, but with angelic strains ! I beg you 
to express my gratitude to the poet for the plea- 
sure he has given me." 

Beattie received a letter from Gray, of the same 
date as the preceding, containing many minute 
remarks on his poem. As it consists almost 
entirely of verbal criticism, it scarcely admits of 
quotation : a single short extract may however 
be given from it : 






MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXXVll 

" St. 11. 0, how canst thou renounce* &c. 
But this, of all others, is my favourite stanza. 
It is true poetry ; it is inspiration ; only (to show 
it is mortal) there is one blemish ; the word gar- 
niture suggesting an idea of dress, and, what is 
worse, of French dress." When the poem was 
reprinted, one or two slight alterations were made 
in deference to the opinion of Gray. 

In a letter to the Dowager Lady Forbes, 12th 
October, 1772, our author confesses that in the 
character of Edwin he meant to paint himself : 

" From the questions your Ladyship is pleased 
to propose in the conclusion of your letter, as 
well as from some things I have had the honour 
to hear you advance in conversation, I find you 
are willing to suppose, that, in Edwin, I have 
given only a picture of myself, as I was in my 
younger days. I confess the supposition is not 
groundless. I have made him take pleasure in 

* " 0, how canst thou renounce the boundless store 
Of charms which Nature to her votary yields? 
The warbling woodland, the resounding shore, 
The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields; 
All that the genial ray of morning gilds, 
And all that echoes to the song of even, 
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields, 
And all the dread magnificence of heaven, 
O, how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven ? " 

" I have often wished," says Beattie in a note on Gray's 
letter, " to alter this same word, [garniture,] but have not 
yet been able to hit upon a better." 



XXXVin MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

the scenes in which I took pleasure, and enter- 
tain sentiments similar to those, of which, even 
in my early youth, I had repeated experience. 
The scenery of a mountainous country, the ocean, 
the sky, thoughtfulness and retirement, and some- 
times melancholy objects and ideas, had charms 
in my eyes, even when I was a schoolboy : and 
at a time when I was so far from being able to 
express, that I did not understand my own feel- 
ings, or perceive the tendency of such pursuits 
and amusements; and as to poetry and music, 
before I was ten years old I could play a little 
on the violin, and was as much master of Homer 
and Virgil, as Pope's and Dryden's translations 
could make me." 

The intense thought which Beattie had devoted 
to the composition of the Essay on Truth having 
materially injured his health, he was advised by 
his physicians to try the remedy of change of 
scene. He accordingly set out on a journey to 
London, and arrived there in the beginning of 
Autumn, 1771. He was no longer the obscure in- 
dividual who had visited it in 1763;* he was now 
the triumphant adversary of scepticism, and the 
author of the admired Minstrel; a man whom the 
most distinguished characters in the literary and 
fashionable world were prepared to treat with 
attention and respect. Among several letters of 
introduction, which he carried with him, was one 

* See p. xv. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. XXXIX 

from Dr. Gregory, of Edinburgh, to Mrs. Montagu. 
At the splendid and hospitable mansion of this 
celebrated lady, Beattie became acquainted with 
various persons, both male and female, who were 
then the chief ornaments of London society : and 
he used to dwell with delight on the recollections 
of her more private parties, made up of Lord Lyt- 
telton, Mrs. Carter, and a few others, who spent 
their evenings in the most unreserved conversation 
on literary, moral, or religious subjects. From 
this time, Mrs. Montagu continued to be one of his 
firmest friends; and their epistolary correspondence 
closed only with her life. The politeness and 
kindness of Hawkesworth, Armstrong, Garrick, 
and Johnson, also contributed much to render 
pleasant his visit to the metropolis. Concerning 
the last illustrious man he writes thus : " Johnson 
has been greatly misrepresented. I have passed 
several entire days with him, and found him ex- 
tremely agreeable. The compliments he pays to 
my writings are so high, that I have not the face 
to mention them." In December Beattie had re- 
turned to Aberdeen. 

In 1772, his mother died at the advanced age 
of fourscore, at the house of her affectionate son 
David, in the neighbourhood of Laurencekirk. 

Towards the end of April, 1773, Beattie, ac- 
companied by his wife, set out again for London. 
This journey was undertaken partly for the sake 
of his health, and partly with a view to another 



xl MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

object, — the bettering of his circumstances. The 
emolument which he had derived from his writings 
bore unfortunately no proportion to the fame he 
had acquired ; and the small income arising from 
his professorship afforded him the only means for 
supporting his family. During his former visit to 
the capital in 1771, his English friends had been 
very desirous to procure for him some permanent 
provision ; and it was well known that his Ma- 
jesty had expressed approbation of his writings, 
and had even declared his intention of conferring 
some reward on the man who had laboured so 
successfully to advance the interests of religion. 
With several important letters of introduction, — 
one addressed to the Earl of Dartmouth, — he now 
arrived in London, and was cordially welcomed by 
Mrs. Montagu, and his other friends. His recep- 
tion by Lord Dartmouth was kind and courteous : 
soon after which, being summoned to wait on 
Lord North, he was told by that minister, that an 
early opportunity should be taken to inform his 
Majesty of his arrival. 

By some of his friends it had been suggested 
that Beattie should take orders, and enter the 
English church; but this mode of improving his 
fortunes he very properly rejected.* At last, by 

* At a subsequent period, after the King had granted him 
a pension, he received two offers of chur :h preferment in 
England, — the one from Mr. Pitt, of Dorsetshire, of a living 
in that eounty worth ,£150 per annum, the other from Dr. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. xli 

the advice of the Archbishop of York, a memorial 
was drawn up " expressing his services, his wants, 



Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, of a living in Hants, valued 
at <£"500 a year, — neither of which he would accept. In the 
letter, wherein he declines the second noble offer, he thus 
expresses himself: "I wrote the ' Essay on Tiulh' with the 
certain prospect of raising many enemies, with very faint 
hopes of attracting the public attention, and without any 
views of advancing my fortune. I published it, however, 
because I thought it might probably do a little good, by 
bringing to nought, or at least lessening the reputation of 
that wretched system of sceptical philosophy, which had 
made a most alarming progress, and done incredible mischief 
to this country. My enemies have been at great pains to 
represent my views, in that publication, as very different : 
and that my principal, or only motive, was to make a book, 
and, if possible, to raise myself higher in the world. So that, 
if I were now to accept preferment in the church, I should 
be apprehensive that I might strengthen the hands of the 
gainsayer, and give the world some ground to believe that 
my love of truth was not quite so ardent, or so pure, as I 
had pretended. 

" Besides, might it not have the appearance of levity and 
insincerity, and, by some, be construed into a want of prin- 
ciple, if I were at these years (for I am now thirty-eight) to 
make such an important change in my way of life, and to 
quit, with no other apparent motive than that of bettering 
my circumstances, that church of which I have hitherto been 
a member? If my book has any tendency to do good, as I 
flatter myself it has, I would not, for the wealth of the In- 
dies, do any thing to counteract that tendency ; and I am 
afraid that tendency might, in some measure, be- counter- 
acted (at least in this country), if I were to give the adver- 
sary the least ground to charge me with inconsistency. It is 
true, that the force of my reasonings cannot be really affected 
by my character; truth is truth, whoever be the speaker: 



xlii MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

and his wishes ; " which, having been transmitted 
to Lord Dartmouth, was by him laid before the 
King, who, on that occasion, spoke of Beattie and 
his writings with high approbation, and signified 
a desire to see him. 

Meantime the number of our author's acquaint- 
ances in the metropolis increased daily, and his 
society was eagerly courted by a long list of illus- 
trious names. He now became personally known 
to a distinguished churchman, with whom during 
the preceding year he had held some correspond- 
ence by letter, — Dr. Porteus, then Rector of 
Lambeth, and finally Bishop of London ; and the 
friendship which took place between them was 
sincere and lasting. 

At the first levee, Beattie was presented by 
Lord Dartmouth to his Majesty, who for several 
minutes talked to him concerning his Essay on 
Truth in the most condescending and affable 



but even truth itself becomes less respectable, -when spoken, 
or supposed to be spoken, by insincere lips. 

" It has also been hinted to me, by several persons of very 
sound judgment, that what I have written, or may hereafter 
write, in favour of religion, has a chance of being more 
attended to, if I continue a layman, than if I were to become a 
clergyman. Nor am I without apprehensions (though some 
of my friends think them ill founded), that, from entering 
so late in life, and from so remote a province, into the Church 
of England, some degree of ungracefulness, particularly in 
pronunciation, might adhere to my performances in public, 
sufficient to render them less pleasing, and consequently less 
useful." 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. xliii 

Soon after this, the University of Oxford, at the 
installation of Lord North as its Chancellor, con- 
ferred on our author a very flattering mark of dis- 
tinction, an honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law. 

At length the object of his wishes was attained. 
On the 20th of August, he received an official 
letter from the secretary of Lord North, inform- 
ing him that the King had been pleased to allow 
him a pension of two hundred pounds a year. Of 
the private interview, with which, a few days 
after, he was honoured by their Majesties, he has 
left the following account in his Diary : 

" Tuesday, 24th August, set out for Dr. Ma- 
jendie's at Kew-Green. The Doctor told me, that 
he had not seen the King yesterday, but had left 
a note in writing, to intimate that I was to be at 
his house to-day; and that one of the King's pages 
had come to him this morning, to say, ' that his 
Majesty would see me a little after twelve.' At 
twelve, the Doctor and I went to the King's house, 
at Kew. We had been only a few minutes in the 
hall, when the King and Queen came in from an 
airing ; and, as they passed through the hall, the 
King called to me by name, and asked how long it 
was since I came from town. I answered, about 
an hour. < I shall see you,' says he, ' in a little.' 
The Doctor and I waited a considerable time (for 
the King was busy), and then we were called into 
a large room, furnished as a library, where the 
King was walking about, and the Queen sitting in 



xliv MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

a chair. We were received in the most gracious 
manner possible by both their Majesties. I had 
the honour of a conversation with them (nobody 
else being present but Dr. Majendie) for upwards 
of an hour, on a great variety of topics ; in which 
both the King and Queen joined, with a degree 
of cheerfulness, affability, and ease, that was to me 
surprising, and soon dissipated the embarrassment 
which I felt at the beginning of the conference. 
They both complimented me, in the highest terms, 
on my ' Essay,' which, they said, was a book they 
always kept by them ; and the King said he had 
one copy of it at Kew, and another in town, and 
immediately went and took it down from a shelf. 
I found it was the second edition. * I never stole 
a book but one/ said his Majesty, ' and that was 
yours (speaking to me) ; I stole it from the Queen, 
to give it to Lord Hertford to read.' He had heard 
that the sale of Hume's ' Essays ' had failed, since 
my book was published ; and I told him what Mr. 
Strahan had told me, in regard to that matter. 
He had even heard of my being in Edinburgh last 
summer, and how Mr. Hume was offended on the 
score of my book. He asked many questions about 
the second part of the ' Essay,' and when it would 
be ready for the press. I gave him, in a short 
speech, an account of the plan of it ; and said, my 
health was so precarious, I could not tell when it 
might be ready, as I had many books to consult 
before I could finish it ; but, that if my health 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. xlv 

were good, I thought I might bring it to a conclu- 
sion in two or three years. He asked, how long 
I had been in composing my Essay ? praised the 
caution with which it was written ; and said, he 
did not wonder that it had employed me five or 
six years. He asked about my poems. I said, 
there was only one poem of my own on which I 
set any value (meaning the ' Minstrel '), and that 
it was first published about the same time with 
the ' Essay.' My other poems, I said, were in- 
correct, being but juvenile pieces, and of little con- 
sequence, even in my own opinion. We had much 
conversation on moral subjects ; from which both 
their Majesties let it appear that they were warm 
friends to Christianity ; and so little inclined to 
infidelity, that they could hardly believe that any 
thinking man could really be an atheist, unless he 
could bring himself to believe that he made him- 
self; a thought which pleased the King exceed- 
ingly ; and he repeated it several times to the 
Queen. He asked, whether any thing had been 
written against me. I spoke of the late pamphlet, 
of which I gave an account, telling him, that I 
never had met with any man who had read it, ex- 
cept one Quaker. This brought on some discourse 
about the Quakers, whose moderation and mild be- 
haviour the King and Queen commended. I was 
asked many questions about the Scots universities ; 
the revenues of the Scots clergy ; their mode of 
praying and preaching; the medical college of 



xlvi MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

Edinburgh ; Dr. Gregory (of whom I gave a par- 
ticular character), and Dr. Cullen ; the length of 
our vacation at Aberdeen, and the closeness of 
our attendance during the winter ; the number of 
students that attend my lectures ; my mode of lec- 
turing, whether from notes, or completely written 
lectures; about Mr. Hume, and Dr. Robertson, 
and Lord Kinnoull, and the Archbishop of York, 
&c. &c. &c. His Majesty asked what I thought of 
my new acquaintance, Lord Dartmouth ? I said, 
there was something in his air and manner which 

I thought not only agreeable, but enchanting, and 
that he seemed to me to be one of the best of men ; 
a sentiment in which both their Majesties heartily 
joined. ' They say that Lord Dartmouth is an 
enthusiast,' said the King, 'but surely he says 
nothing on the subject of religion, but what every 
Christian may, and ought to say/ He asked, 
whether I did not think the English language on 
the decline at present ? I answered in the affirma- 
tive ; and the King agreed, and named the ' Spec- 
tator ' as one of the best standards of the language. 
When I told him that the Scots clergy sometimes 
prayed a quarter, or even half an hour at a time, 
he asked whether that did not lead them into re- 
petitions ? I said, it often did. ' That,' said he, 

I I don't like in prayers ; and excellent as our 
liturgy is, I think it somewhat faulty in that re- 
spect.' ' Your Majesty knows,' said I, ' that three 
services are joined in one in the ordinary church 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. xlvii 

service, which is one cause of those repetitions/ 
' True,' he replied, ' and that circumstance also 
makes the service too long.' From this, he took 
occasion to speak of the composition of the church 
liturgy; on which he very justly bestowed the 
highest commendation. ' Observe,' his Majesty 
said, 'how flat those occasional prayers are, that 
are now composed, in comparison with the old 
ones.' When I mentioned the smallness of the 
church livings in Scotland, he said, ' he wondered 
how men of liberal education would choose to be- 
come clergymen there ; ' and asked, ' whether, in 
the remote parts of the country, the clergy, in 
general, were not very ignorant?' I answered, 
' No, for that education was very cheap in Scot- 
land, and that the clergy, in general, were men of 
good sense, and competent learning.' He asked 
whether we had any good preachers at Aberdeen ? 
I said, yes, and named Campbell and Gerard, with 
whose names, however, I did not find that he 
was acquainted. Dr. Majendie mentioned Dr. 
Oswald's ' Appeal ' with commendation ; I praised 
it too; and the Queen took down the name, with 
a view to send for it. I was asked, whether I 
knew Dr. Oswald ? I answered, I did not ; and 
said, that my book was published before I read 
his ; that Dr. 0. was well known to Lord Kinnoull, 
who had often proposed to make us acquainted. 
We discussed a great many other topics; for the 
conversation, as before observed, lasted for upwards 



xlviii MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

of an hour, without any intermission. The Queen 
bore a large share in it. Both the King and her 
Majesty showed a great deal of good sense, acute- 
ness, and knowledge, as well as of good nature and 
affability. At last, the King took out his watch 
(for it was now almost three o'clock, his hour of 
dinner), which Dr. Majendie and I took as a signal 
to withdraw. We accordingly bowed to their Ma- 
jesties, and I addressed the King in these words : 
' I hope, Sir, your Majesty will pardon me, if I 
take this opportunity to return you my humble and 
most grateful acknowledgments, for the honour you 
have been pleased to confer upon me.' He im- 
mediately answered, 'I think I could do no less 
for a man who has done so much service to the 
cause of Christianity. I shall always be glad of 
an opportunity to show the good opinion I have of 
you.' The Queen sate all the while, and the King 
stood, sometimes walking about a little. Her Ma- 
jesty speaks the English language with surprising 
elegance, and little or nothing of a foreign accent. 
There is something wonderfully captivating in her 
manner ; so that if she were only of the rank of a 
private gentlewoman, one could not help taking 
notice of her, as one of the most agreeable women 
in the world. Her face is much more pleasing 
than any of her pictures ; and in the expression 
of her eyes, and in her smile, there is something 
peculiarly engaging. When the Doctor and I came 
out, ' Pray,' said I, ' how did 1 behave ? Tell me 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. xlix 

honestly, for I am not accustomed to conversations 
of this kind.' ' Why, perfectly well,' answered 
he, ' and just as you ought to do.' — ' Are you sure 
of that? ' said I. — ' As sure,' he replied, 'as of my 
own existence : and you may be assured of it too, 
when I tell you, that if there had been any thing 
in your manner or conversation which was not 
perfectly agreeable, your conference would have 
been at an end in eight or ten minutes at most.' 
The Doctor afterwards told me, that it was a most 
uncommon thing for a private man, and a com- 
moner, to be honoured with so long an audience. 
I dined with Dr. and Mrs. Majendie, and their 
family, and returned to town in the evening, very 
much pleased with the occurrences of the day." 

At this time, Sir Joshua Reynolds, having re- 
quested Beattie to sit for his picture, produced 
a likeness of him, which is generally regarded as 
one of the finest works of that admirable artist. 
He is represented in his Oxford gown of Doctor of 
Civil Law, with his famous Essay under his arm ; 
while beside him is Truth, habited as an Angel, 
holding in one hand a pair of scales, and with 
the other thrusting down three frightful figures, 
emblematic of Prejudice, Scepticism, and Folly.* 

* So Beattie names the figures in one of his letters; but 
Sir William Forbes tells us they are supposed to mean 
Sophistry, Scepticism, and Infidelity. The worthy Baronet 
proceeds to observe : " Because one of these was a lean 
figure, and the [an] other a fat one, people of lively imagi- 

d 



1 MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

Of this picture Sir Joshua made a present to 
Beattie, who set a due value on so noble a com- 
position, and preserved it with the utmost care. 

After an absence of a little more than five 
months, he returned to Aberdeen. 

A striking proof how highly the character and 
talents of Beattie were appreciated, even by those 
to whom he was personally unknown, occurred in 
October of this year (1773,) when the chair of 
Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh 
was offered to him by the electors, the magistrates 
of the city. He, however, declined accepting it. 
" Though my fortune " (he writes to Sir William 
Forbes, on the subject) " were as narrow now, as 
it lately was, I should still incline rather to re- 
main in quiet where I am, than, by becoming a 
member of the University of Edinburgh, to place 
myself within the reach of those (few as they are) 
w r ho have been pleased to let the world know that 

nations pleased themselves with finding in them the portraits 
of Voltaire and Mr. Hume. But Sir Joshua, I have reason 
to believe, had no such thought when he painted those 
figures." Surely Sir William had never read all the letters 
which he printed in his Life of Beattie, for in vol. ii. p. 42, 
octavo ed., Ave find the great painter writing to our poet as 
follows, in February, 1774; "Mr. Hume has heard from 
somebody that he is introduced in the picture, not much to 
his credit ; there is only a figure, covering his face with his 
hands, which they may call Hume or anybody else ; it is 
true it has a tolerable broad back. As for Voltaire, I intended 
he should be one of the group." This fine picture afterwards 
came into the possession of Beattie's niece, Mrs. Glennie. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. li 

they do not wish me well." He alludes to the 
enemies whom his Essay on Truth had raised up. 

The Second Book of The Minstrel, together 
with a new and corrected edition of the First, 
appeared in 1774, the author's name being now 
added. The poem, thus enlarged, suffered no 
diminution of its popularity. 

The following year, Beattie and his wife spent 
several weeks in London, residing during the 
chief part of the time with Dr. Porteus, one of 
his kindest and most zealous friends. On this 
occasion, having shown himself at court, he was 
immediately recognized by the King, who spoke 
to him very graciously, and made several inquiries 
concerning his studies. 

To a new and improved edition in quarto, of 
the Essay on Truth, printed by subscription * in 
1776, our author appended three other Essays ; 

* When Beattie was in London in 1773, and when it 
■was doubtful whether Government would ever make any 
provision for him, his friends there set on foot a subscription 
for this work. " It was a thing," says he in a letter to Lady 
Mayne, January, 1774, "of a private nature entirely; 
projected not by me, but by some of my friends, who had 
condescended to charge themselves with the whole trouble 
of it : it was never meant to be made public, nor put into 
the hands of booksellers, nor carried on by solicitation, but 
was to be considered as a voluntary mark of the approbation 
of some persons of rank and fortune, who wished it to be 
known that they patronised me on account of what I had 
written in defence of truth,*' &c. Prefixed to the volume is 
a list of nearly five hundred subscribers, among whom are 
many distinguished characters in church and state. 



Hi MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

On Poetry and Music, as they affect the Mind; On 
Laughter and Ludicrous Composition ; and On the 
Utility of Classical Learning. In 1777,* he gave 
to the press a new edition of The Minstrel, to 
which he added a few of his minor poems : this 
volume (he says in the preface) contains " all the 
verses of which I am willing to be considered as 
the author." In 1778,t he printed for private 
circulation a Letter to Dr. Blair on the Improve- 
ment of Psalmody in Scotland. In 1779, he pub- 
lished, for the use of the young men who attended 
his lectures, a List of Scotticisms, to the amount 
of about two hundred. And in 1780, he con- 
tributed some thoughts On Dreaming to the well 
known periodical paper, The Mirror. 

The following portion of a letter from Dr. 
Johnson to Beattie shows how sincerely our author 
was esteemed by the great moralist : 

"Bolt Court, Fleet Street, 21st August, 1780. 

" Moee years than I have any delight to reckon 
have past since you and I saw one another. Of 
this, however, there is no reason for making any 

* A spurious edition of his Juvenile Poems, with some 
which he never wrote, from Dodsley's Collection, was put 
forth in 1 780. This volume he disowned in a public adver- 
tisement. 

f Perhaps it was not printed till the beginning of the 
following year. In a letter to Beattie, dated Feb. 1st, 1779, 
Mrs. Montagu says, " I was much pleased with your pam 
phlet on Psalmody.'' 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. liii 

reprehensory complaint, sic fata ferunt: but, 
methinks, there might pass some small inter- 
change of regard between us. If you say that 
I ought to have written, I now write; and I 
write to tell you, that I have much kindness for 
you and Mrs. Beattie, and that I wish your health 
better, and your life long. Try change of air, 
and come a few degrees southward; a softer 
climate may do you both good. Winter is coming 
on, and London will be warmer, and gayer, and 
busier, and more fertile of amusement than Aber- 
deen." 

In 1781, Beattie made another journey to 
London, taking with him his eldest son, James 
Hay Beattie.* While there, we find him writing 
thus to Sir William Forbes : 

" 1st June. 

" I have been visiting all my friends again 
and again, and found them as affectionate and 
attentive as ever. Death has indeed deprived 
me of some since I was last here, of Garrick, 
and Armstrong, and poor Harry Smith; but I 

have still many left Johnson grows 

in grace as he grows in years. He not only has 
better health and a fresher complexion than ever 
he had before (at least since I knew him), but 

* He was born in 1768, and was named after James Hay, 
Earl of ErroJ, our author's early patron. 



liv MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

he has contracted a gentleness of manners which 
pleases every body." 

" 28th June. 
" I thought it my duty to appear at the levee 
before I left London; and accordingly the week 
before last I went to court. The King had not 
seen me for six years, and yet, to my surprise, 
knew me at first sight. He spoke to me with his 
wonted condescension and affability ; and paid me 
a very polite compliment on the subject of my 
writings." 

His Dissertations, Moral and Critical, were pub- 
lished in 1783. 

A passage from a letter of the poet Cowper to 
the Rev. William Unwin, 5th April, 1784,* must 
not be omitted here : " If you have not his poem, 
called 'The Minstrel,' and cannot borrow it, I 
must beg you to buy it for me ; for, though I can- 
not afford to deal largely in so expensive a com- 

* Writing from Edinburgh, 28th May, 1784, to his niece 
Miss Valentine (afterwards Mrs. Glennie) Beattie describes 
the sensation caused in that city by the performances of Mrs. 
Siddons. He says that he met her at the house of Lord 
Buchan; that he played to her many Scotch airs on the 
violincello, with which she was much gratified ; and that 
"she sung 'Queen Mary's Complaint' to admiration, and I 
had the honour to accompany her on the bass." — Forbes's 
Life of Beattie, vol. ii. p. 324, octavo ed. 

I am informed by the incomparable actress in question, 
that the quotation just given contains an utter falsehood, 
which, when Forbes's Life of our author first appeared in 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lv 

modity as books, I must afford to purchase at least 
the poetical works of Beattie." 

His health impaired, and his peace of mind des- 
troyed by the melancholy condition of his wife 
(who, labouring under confirmed insanity, was now 
removed from her family), we need not wonder 
that Beattie should endeavour to forget his do- 
mestic griefs in the society of his English friends, 
to whom he was ever welcome. During the year 
1784, after passing some time in London, he spent 
a month with Dr. Porteus (who had now attained 
the rank of Bishop of Chester), at the beautiful 
parsonage of Hunton, near Maidstone, which he 
characterizes as " the mansion of peace, piety, and 
cheerfulness." He also visited Mrs. Montagu at 
her seat, called Sandleford, in Berks. 

In 1786, his Evidences of the Christian Religion 
were published. A remark which he makes in a 
letter, while engaged in the composition of this 
judicious summary, is worth quoting : " Whether 

1806, she read with astonishment. She remembers perfectly 
having been introduced to Beattie at Lord Buchan's, but she is 
quite certain she did not sing either Queen Mary's Complaint 
or any other song ; and she ob? erves that if she had sung to 
his accompaniment, the circumstance would have been so 
striking, that it could not possibly have escaped her recol- 
lection. 

Qy. Has Beattie's letter been mutilated, the person who 
transcribed it for the press having by mistake omitted some 
lines? and do the words "she sung," in the concluding sen- 
tence, refer to some other more musical lady, and not to 
Mrs. Siddons? 



Ivi MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

this work shall ever be of use to others, I know not ; 
but this I know, that it has been of considerable 
benefit to myself. For though, when I entered 
upon it, I understood my subject well enough to 
entertain no doubt of the goodness of my cause, 
yet I find, as I advance, new light continually 
breaking in upon me." 

The receipt of the following letter could hardly 
fail to gratify our author : 

"Philadelphia, 1st August, 1786. 

" The American revolution, which divided the 
British empire, made no breach in the republic 
of letters. As a proof of this, a stranger to your 
person, and a citizen of a country lately hostile 
to yours, has expressed his obligations to you for 
the knowledge and pleasure he has derived from 
your excellent writings, by procuring your ad- 
mission into the American Philosophical Society ; 
a certificate of which, subscribed by our illus- 
trious president, Dr. Franklin, and the other 
officers of the society, you will receive by the next 
vessel that sails to any port in North Britain from 
this city. 

" The stranger alluded to finished his studies in 
medicine in Edinburgh in the year 1769, and has 
ever since taught chemistry and medicine in the 
college of Philadelphia. His name (with the 
greatest respect for yours) is, 

" Benjamin Rush." 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lvii 

The next year, with his eldest son for his com- 
panion, he repaired again to London. While there, 
he writes thus to his niece, Miss Valentine, after- 
wards Mrs. Glennie : 

" London, 20th July, 1787. 
"I am just returned from Windsor, where I 
passed three days. I went thither, partly to see 
some friends, but chiefly that I might pay my re- 
spects to the King and Queen. They both re- 
ceived me in the most gracious manner. I saw 
the King first on the terrace, where he knew me 
at first sight, and did me the honour to converse 
with me a considerable time. Next morning I 
saw him again at prayers in his chapel, where he 
was pleased to introduce me to the Queen, who 
inquired very kindly after my health ; observed, 
that many years had passed since she saw me 
last ; regretted the bad weather which I had met 
with at Windsor (for it rained incessantly), which, 
said she, has made your friends see less of you 
than they wished ; and, after some other conver- 
sation, her Majesty and the Princess Elizabeth, 
who attended her, made a slight curtsey, and 
stepped into the carriage that waited for them at 
the chapel door. The King remained with us 
for some time longer, and talked of various mat- 
ters." 

Our author then proceeded to visit Dr. Porteus 
at Hunton, and Mrs. Montagu at Sandleford, but 



lviii MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

was obliged to quit the latter place sooner than he 
had intended, on account of the illness of his son, 
who showed symptoms of that consumptive com- 
plaint to which he afterwards fell a victim. For 
the sake of medical advice Beattie carried him 
back to the metropolis, and from thence, by very 
easy stages, to Aberdeen. Soon after his return to 
Scotland, the invalid improved so much in health, 
that he was able to take upon him part of the 
management of the class of Moral Philosophy in 
the Marischal College, having been appointed in 
June of this year (when he was not quite nineteen) 
assistant professor to his father. 

In 1790, Beattie put forth the first volume of 
his Elements of Moral Science ; and superintended 
an edition of Addison's Periodical Papers, adding 
a few notes to Tickell's Life of that author, and 
to Johnson's Remarks on his Prose Writings. 
The second volume of the Transactions of the 
Royal Society of Edinburgh, published during this 
year, contains * Remarks on some Passages of the 
Sixth Book of the ^Eneid,' from Beattie's pen. 

He had now to suffer the dire bereavement 
which he had long foreseen, the loss of his eldest 
son, the object of his fondest affection. He thus 
informs the Duchess of Gordon of the melan- 
choly event: 

"Aberdeen, 1st December, 1790. 

" Knowing with what kindness and condescen- 
sion your Grace takes an interest in every i hing 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. llX 

that concerns me and my littie family, I take the 
liberty to inform you, that my son James is dead ; 
that the last duties to him are now paid; and 
that I am endeavouring to return, with the little 
ability that is left me, and with entire submission 
to the will of Providence, to the ordinary business 
of life. I have lost one who was always a pleas- 
ing companion ; but who, for the last five or six 
years, was one of the most entertaining and in- 
structive companions that ever man was blest 
with: for his mind comprehended almost every 
science ; he was a most attentive observer of life 
and manners ; a master of classical learning ; and 
he possessed an exuberance of wit and humour, 
a force of understanding, and a correctness and 
delicacy of taste, beyond any other person of his 
age I have ever known. 

" He was taken ill in the night of the 30th of 
November, 1789 ; and from that time his decline 
commenced. It was long what physicians call a 
nervous atrophy; but towards the end of June, 
symptoms began to appear of the lungs being 
affected. Goats' milk, and afterwards asses' milk, 
were procured for him in abundance ; and such 
exercise as he could bear, he regularly took : 
these means lengthened his days, no doubt, and 
alleviated his sufferings, which indeed were not 
often severe : but, in spite of all that could be 
done, he grew weaker and weaker, and died the 
19th of November, 1790, without complaint or 



lx MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

pain, without even a groan or a sigh ; retaining 
to the last moment the use of his rational facul- 
ties : indeed, from first to last, not one delirious 
word ever escaped him. He lived twenty- two 
years and thirteen days. Many weeks before it 
came, he saw death approaching, and he met it 
with such composure and pious resignation, as 
may no doubt be equalled, but cannot be sur- 
passed. 

" He has left many things in writing, serious 
and humorous, scientific and miscellaneous, prose 
and verse, Latin and English; but it will be a 
long time before I shall be able to harden my 
heart so far as to revise them." 

In April of the following year, Beattie again 
travelled southwards, accompanied by Montagu,* 
his second son, and only surviving child. They 
remained some Weeks in Edinburgh, and then 
journeyed slowly to London, which, after a short 
stay, they quitted for the summer residence of Dr. 
Porteus, who was now elevated to the see of the 
metropolis. The tranquillity of Fulham Palace, 
and the kind attentions of its inhabitants, con- 
tributed greatly to amend the health and raise 
the spirits of our author ; and he seems to have 
enjoyed the company of the distinguished persons 

* He was so named after Mrs. Montagu. From one of 
Beattie's letters, dated 1789, it appears that she had made 
a handsome present of money to her godson. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lxi 

with whom he had an opportunity of associating. 
" Last week," he writes to Sir William Forbes, 
30th June, 1791, " I made a morning visit to 
Mr. Pitt. I had heard him spoken of as a grave 
and reserved man ; but saw nothing of it. He 
gave me a very frank, and indeed affectionate 
reception ; and was so cheerful, and in his con- 
versation so easy, that I almost thought myself 
in the company rather of an old acquaintance, 
than of a great statesman. He was pleased to 
pay me some very obliging compliments, asked 
about my health, and how I meant to pass the 
summer; spoke of the Duchess of Gordon, the 
improvements of Edinburgh, and various other 
matters : and when I told him, I knew not what 
apology to make for intruding upon him, said, 
that no apology was necessary, for that he was 
very glad to see me, and desired to see me 
again." Before returning to Scotland, the tra- 
vellers went to Bath, and from thence to Sandle- 
ford, the seat of Mrs. Montagu. 

The second volume of the Elements of Moral 
Science appeared in 1793. During the same 
year, the sudden death of his favourite sister, 
Mrs. Valentine, increased the domestic sorrows 
of Beattie. His health was at this period so 
greatly impaired, that being unable to attend to 
his duties of Professor in the Marischal College, 
he engaged his old pupil, Mr. Glennie, as an 
assistant : occasionally, however, he continued to 






lxii MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

lecture to his class till the commencement of the 
winter session of 1797. 

For some time past he had occupied himself in 
the melancholy yet pleasing task of editing a 
volume of the compositions of his eldest son. 
From a pardonable partiality for the writings of 
a beloved child, and from his not very accurate 
attainments in classical scholarship, he admitted 
into the collection several pieces, both English 
and Latin, which fall considerably below me- 
diocrity. A few copies of the work were privately 
printed in 1794, under the title of Essays and 
Fragments in Prose and Verse, by James Hay 
Beattie, and were " offered as presents to those 
friends with whom the author was particularly 
acquainted, or connected."* Though it undoubt- 

* I possess a copy of it which bears the following in- 
scription : 

" To William Hayley, Esq., 

in testimony of the utmost respect, 

esteem, and gratitude, from J. Beattie. 

1st January, 1796." 

On one of its fly-leaves the ever-ready pen of Hayley has 
written the subjoined sonnet : 

TO DOCTOR BEATTIE, IN GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF 
HIS VERT INTERESTING PRESENT. 

" Bard of the North ! I thank thee with my tears 
For this fond work of thy paternal hand : 
It bids the buried youth before me stand 
In nature's softest light, which love endears. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lxiii 

edly shows that the deceased was a young man 
of uncommon quickness of talent, and the most 
indefatigable application, it exhibits nothing which 
has a claim to be considered as the offspring of 
genius.* The most interesting portion of the 

Parents like thee, whose grief the world reveres, 
Faithful to pure affection's proud command, 
For a lost child ha%*e lasting honours planned, 
To give in fame what fate denied in years. 
The filial form of Icarus was wrought 
By his afflicted sire, the sire of art! 
And Tullia's fane engrossed her father's heart : 
That fane rose only in perturbed thought ; 
But sweet perfection crowns, as truth begun, 
This Christian image of thy happier son." 

* It was afterwards published for sale in 1799. I extract 
from it a jeu d'esprit — one of those pieces which Beattie 
printed, in opposition to the advice of Sir William Forbes 
and some other grave friends. 

THE MODERN TIPPLING PHILOSOPHERS. 

Father Hodge f had his pipe and his dram, 

And at night, his cloyed thirst to awaken, 
He was served with a rasher of ham, 

Which procured him the surname of Bacon. 
He has shown that, though logical science 

And dry theory oft prove unhandy, 
Honest Truth will ne'er set at defiance 

Experiment, aided by brandy. 

Des Cartes bore a musket, they tell us, 
Ere he wished, or was able, to write, 



f Roger Bacon, the father of experimental philosophy. 
He flourished in the thirteenth century. 



lxiv MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

volume is the biographical sketch prefixed to it 
by the afflicted father, a memoir of exquisite 
simplicity and pathos. The account given by 

And was noted among the brave fellows, 

Who are bolder to tipple than fight. 
Of his system the cause and design 

We no more can be posed to explain : — 
The materia subtilis was wine, 

And the vortices whirled in his brain. 

Old Hobbes, as his name plainly shows, 

At a hob-nob was frequently tried : 
That all virtue from selfishness rose 

He believed, and all laughter from pride.* 
The truth of this creed he would brag on, 

Smoke his pipe, murder Homer, f and quaff, 
Then staring, as drunk as a dragon, 

In the pride of his heart he would laugh. 
Sir Isaac discovered, it seems, 

The nature of colours and light, 
In remarking the tremulous beams 

That swam on his wandering sight. 
Ever sapient, sober though seldom, 

From experience attraction he found, 
By observing, when no one upheld him, 

That his wise head fell souse on the ground. 

As to Berkeley's philosophy — he has 
Left his poor pupils nought to inherit, 

But a swarm of deceitful ideas 

Kept, like other monsters, in spirit. J 



* See The Spectator, No. 47. 

f Hobbes was a great smoker, and wrote what some have 
been pleased to call a Translation of Homer. 

% He taught that the external universe has no existence, 
but -an ideal one, in the mind (or spirifl that perceives it - 
and he thought tar -water a universal remedy. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. biV 

Beattie of the method which he adopted in impart- 
ing to his son the first idea of a Supreme Being is 
too striking to be omitted here : 



Tar-drinkers can't think what's the matter, 
That their health does not mend, but decline : 

Why, they take but some wine to their water, 
He took but some water to wine. 

One Mandeville once, or Man -devil, 

(Either name you may give as you please) 
By a brain ever brooding on evil, 

Hatched a monster called Fable of Bees. 
Vice, said he, aggrandizes a people ; * 

By this light let my conduct be viewed ; 
I swagger, swear, guzzle, and tipple: 

And d ye, 'tie all for your good. 

David Hume ate a swinging great dinner, 

And grew every day fatter and fatter ; 
And yet the huge hulk of a sinner 

Said there was neither spirit nor matter. 
Now there's no sober man in the nation, 

Who such nonsense could write, speak, or think : 
It follows, by fair demonstration, 

That he philosophized in his drink. 

As a smuggler even Priestley could sin ; 

Who, in hopes the poor gauger of frightening, 
While he filled the case-bottles with gin, 

Swore he filled them with thunder and lightning, f 
In his cups, (when Locke's laid on the shelf) 

Could he speak, he would frankly confess it t'ye , 
That, unable to manage himself, 

His puts his whole trust in Necessity. 



* Private vices public benefits. 
+ Electrical batteries. 

e 



lxvi MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

" The doctrines of religion I wished to impress 
on his mind, as soon as it might be prepared to 
receive them ; but I did not see the propriety of 
making him commit to memory theological sen- 
tences, or any sentences, which it was not pos- 

If the young in rash folly engage, 

How closely continues the evil! 
Old Franklin retains, as a sage, 

The thirst he acquired when a devil.* 
That charging drives fire from a phial, 

It was natural for him to think, 
After finding, from many a trial, 

That drought may be kindled by drink. 

A certain high priest could explain,f 

How the soul is but nerve at the most ; 
And how Milton had glands in his brain, 

That secreted the Paradise Lost. 
And sure, it is what they deserve, 

Of such theories if I aver it, 
They are not even dictates of nerve, 

But mere muddy suggestions of claret. 

Our Holland Philosophers say, Gin 

Is the true philosophical drink, 
As it made Dr. Hartley imagine 

That to shake is the same as to think-X 
For, while drunkenness throbbed in his brain, 

The sturdy materialist chose (0 fye ! ) 
To believe its vibrations not pain, 

But wisdom, and downright philosophy. 



* Bred a printer. This was written long before Dr. 
Franklin's death. 

| Dr. L. Bp. of C. is probably the person here alluded to. 
He was a zealous materialist. 

% He resolved Perception and Thinking into vibrations and 
(what he called ) vibratiuncles of the brain. 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lxvii 

siblc for him to understand. And I was desirous 
to make a trial how far his own reason could go 
in tracing out, with a little direction, the great 
and first principle of all religion, the being of 
God. The following fact is mentioned, not as a 
proof of superior sagacity in him (for I have no 
doubt that most children would in like circum- 
stances think as he did), but merely as a moral 
or logical experiment. He had reached his fifth 
(or sixth) year, knew the alphabet, and could 
read a little ; but had received no particular in- 
formation with respect to the Author of his 
being: because I thought he could not yet un- 
derstand such information ; and because I had 
learned, from my own experience, that to be 
made to repeat words not understood, is extremely 
detrimental to the faculties of a young mind. In 
a corner of a little garden, without informing any 
person of the circumstance, I wrote in the mould, 
with my finger, the three initial letters of his 
name ; and sowing garden-cresses in the furrows, 
covered up the seed, and smoothed the ground. 
Ten days after, he came running to me, and with 

Ye sages, who shine in my verse, 

On my labours with gratitude think, 
Which condemn not the faults they rehearse, 

But impute all your sin to your drink. 
In drink, poets, philosophers, mob, err; 

Then excuse, if my satire e'er nips ye : 
When I praise, think me prudent and sober, 

If 1 blame, be assured I am tipsy. 



lxviii MEMOIR OF BEA'ITIE. 

astonishment in his countenance, told me that his 
name was growing in the garden. 1 smiled at 
the report, and seemed inclined to disregard it; 
but he insisted on my going to see what had hap- 
pened. Yes, said I carelessly, on coming to the 
place, I see it is so ; but there is nothing in this 
worth notice ; it is mere chance : and I went 
away. He followed me, and, taking hold of my 
coat, said, with some earnestness, It could not be 
mere chance ; for that somebody must have con- 
trived matters so as to produce it. — I pretend not 
to give his words, or my own, for I have forgotten 
both; but I give the substance of what passed 
between us in such language as we both under- 
stood. — So you think, I said, that what appears 
so regular as the letters of your name cannot be 
by chance. Yes, said he, with firmness, I think 
so. Look ; t yourself, I replied, and consider 
your hands and fingers, your legs and feet, and 
other limbs ; are they not regular in their ap- 
pearance, and useful to you? He said, they 
were. Came you then hi her, said I, by chance? 
No, he answered, that cannot be ; something 
must have made me. And who is that some- 
thing ? I asked. He said he did not know. (I 
took particular notice, that he did not say, as 
Rousseau fancies a child in like circumstances 
would say, that his parents made him.) I had 
now gained the point I aimed at : and saw, that 
his reason taught him (though he could not so 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lxix 

express it) that what begins to be must have a 
cause, and that what is formed with regularity 
must have an intelligent cause. I therefore told 
him the name of the Great Being who made him 
and all the world ; concerning whose adorable 
nature I gave him such information as I thought 
he could in some measure comprehend. The 
lesson affected him greatly, and he never forgot 
either it, or the circumstance that introduced it." 
After the less of this highly-gifted 3 r outh, the 
only tie which bound Beattie to the world was his 
second son, who, though far inferior to the de- 
ceased in learning, was endowed with no ordinary 
talents.* Just as our author was anxiously form- 
ing plans for his future establishment in life, 
Montagu was unexpectedly carried off by a fever 
of only a few days continuance, in the eighteenth 
year of his age. Beattie thus communicates to 
Sir William Forbes the intelligence of his death : 

"Aberdeen, 14th March, 1796. 

" Our plans relating to Montagu are all at an end. 
I am sorry to give you the pain of being informed, 
that he died this morning at five. His disorder 
was a fever, from which at first we had little ap- 
prehension ; but it cut him off in five days. He 

* " I have been assured by those who were intimately 
acquainted with both, that of the two brothers, Montagu was 
in many respects the superior." 

Bower's Lift of Beattie, 1804. p. 210. 



lxx MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

himself thought from the beginning that it would 
be fatal ; and, before the delirium came on, spoke 
with great composure and Christian piety of his 
approaching dissolution : he even gave some di- 
rections about his funeral. The delirium was very 
violent, and continued till within a few minutes 
of his death, when he was heard to repeat in a 
whisper the Lord's prayer, and began an unfin- 
ished sentence, of which nothing could be heard 
but the words incorruptible glory. Pious sentiments 
prevailed in his mind through life, and did not 
leave him till death ; nor then I trust did they 
leave him. Notwithstanding the extreme violence 
of his fever, he seemed to suffer little pain either 
in body or in mind, and as his end drew near, a 
smile settled upon his countenance. I need not 
tell you that he had every attention that skilful 
and affectionate physicians could bestow. I give 
you the trouble to notify this event to Mr. Ar- 
buthnot. I would have written to him, but have 
many things to mind, and but indifferent health. 
However, I heartily acquiesce in the dispensations 
of Providence, which are all good and wise. God 
bless you and your family. 

" He will be much regretted ; for wherever he 
went he was a very popular character." 

Such an effect had this fresh calamity on the 
intellectual powers of Beattie, that a few days after 
Montagu's death, he experienced a temporary but 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lxxi 

almost utter loss of memory respecting him. Hav- 
ing searched every room in the house, he would 
say to his niece, Mrs. Glennie, " You may think it 
strange, but I must ask you if I have a son, and 
where he is?" she then felt herself under the 
painful necessity of calling to his recollection the 
sufferings of Montagu, the mention of which never 
failed to restore him to reason. Often with tears 
he would declare himself thankful that his children 
were in the grave, exclaiming, in allusion to their 
mother's malady, " How could I have borne to 
see their elegant minds mangled with madness ?" 
On viewing the dead body of Montagu for the 
last time, he said, " I have now done with the 
world." 

The following passages from two of his letters, 
written about this period, are deeply affecting. He 
tells the Rev. Dr. Laing, 10th April, 1796: 

" I hope I am resigned, as my duty requires, and 
as I wish to be ; but I have passed many a bitter 
hour, though on those occasions nobody sees me. 
I fear my reason is a little disordered, for I have 
sometimes thought of late, especially in a morn- 
ing, that Montagu is not dead, though I seem to 
have a remembrance of a dream that he is. This 
you will say, what I myself believe, is a symptom 
not uncommon in cases similar to mine, and that 
I ought by all means to go from home as soon as 
I can. I will do so when the weather becomes 
tolerable." 



lxxii MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

To Sir William Forbes he says, 17th of the same 
month : 

" I have been these many days resolving to write 
to you and Mr. Arbuthnot, to thank you for your 
very kind and sympathetic letters, but various 
things have come in my way to prevent it. I 
need not pretend a hurry of business, for every 
body knows I am not capable of any. A deep 
gloom hangs upon me, and disables all my faculties ; 
and thoughts so strange sometimes occur to me, 
as to make me ' fear that I am not,' as Lear says, 
' in my perfect mind.' But I thank God I am en- 
tirely resigned to the Divine Will ; and, though I 
am now childless, I have friends whose goodness 
to me, and other virtues, I find great comfort in 
recollecting. The physicians not only advise but 
intreat, and indeed command me, to go from home, 
and that without further delay : and I do seriously 
resolve to set out for Edinburgh to-morrow." 

Though Beattie never from henceforth engaged 
in any kind of study, he still found some enjoy- 
ment in books, and still derived some pleasure 
from the society of a very few of his oldest friends. 
He almost entirely ceased to correspond even with 
those whom he most valued ; yet when he hap- 
pened to receive a letter from any of them, his 
spirits were always excited for the rest of the day. 
Music, in which he had once delighted, had be- 
come disagreeable to him since the loss of his 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lxxiii 

eldest son.* A few months, however, before 
Montagu's death, he had occasionally played an 
accompaniment while Montagu sung: but now, 
when prevailed on to resume his favourite violin- 
cello, he was always dissatisfied with his own per- 
formance ; " my fingers," he writes to the Rev. 
Dr. Laing, 5th June, 1798, " have not strength to 
press down the strings." 

In this state he continued till the beginning of 
April, 1799, when he was struck with palsy, which 
for eight days rendered him nearly incapable of 
utterance. At different times the disease repeated 
its attacks, the last of which, on the 5th of Octo- 
ber, 1802, deprived him entirely of the power of 
motion. On the morning of the 18th of August, 
1803, he expired without a struggle, in the sixty- 
eighth year of his age. 

His remains were laid, according to his own 
desire, beside those of his children, in the church- 
yard of St. Nicholas at Aberdeen ; and a Latin 
inscription, from the pen of the late Dr. James 
Gregory, of Edinburgh, marks the spot of his in- 
terment. 

* James Hay Beattie had a scientific knowledge of music, 
and, with the assistance of the Rev. Dr. Laing, had superin- 
tended the building an organ for himself. In one of our 
author's letters, 8th June, 1791, is the following passage: 
" The organ of Durham cathedral was too much for my feel- 
ings ; for it brought too powerfully to my remembrance ano- 
ther organ, much smaller indeed, but more interesting, which 
I can never hear anv more." 



lxxiv MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

In person he was of the middle size, of a broad, 
square make, which seemed to indicate a more 
robust constitution than he really possessed. In 
his gait there was something of a slouch. During 
his later years he grew corpulent and unwieldy ; 
but a few months before his death his bulk was 
greatly diminished. His features were very regu- 
lar ; his complexion somewhat dark. His eyes were 
black, brilliant, full of a tender and melancholy 
expression, and, in the course of conversation 
with his friends, became extremely animated. 

Though I am of opinion with Gilbert Wakefield, 
that the maxim De mortuis nil nisi verttm is better 
than De mortuis nil nisi bonum, it is with pain 
that I touch on the reported failing of so truly 
good a man as Beattie. It has been asserted that 
towards the close of life he indulged to excess in 
the use of wine. In a letter to Mr. Arbuthnot 
he says, " With the present pressure upon my 
mind, I should not be able to sleep, if I did not 
use wine as an opiate; it is less hurtful than 
laudanum, but not so effectual." He may, per- 
haps, have had too frequent recourse to so palat- 
able a medicine, in the hope of banishing for a 
while the recollection of his sorrows : and if, under 
any circumstances, such a fault is to be regarded 
as venial, it may be excused in one who was a 
more than widowed husband and a childless father. 

The prose writings of Beattie appear of late 



MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. lxxv 

years to have fallen into disrepute ; and the once 
celebrated Essay on Truth is at present as much 
undervalued as it was formerly overrated. 

His fame now rests upon The Minstrel alone. 
Since its first publication, many poems of a far 
loftier and more original character have been pro- 
duced in England; yet still does it maintain its 
popularity ; and still in Edwin, that happy per- 
sonification of the poetic temperament, do young 
and enthusiastic readers delight to recognize a 
picture of themselves. Though we cannot fail to 
regret that Beattie should have left it incomplete, 
yet we do not long for the concluding books from 
any interest which we take in the storj', such as is 
excited by some other unfinished works of genius, 
the tale of Cambuscan, for instance, or the legend 
of Christabel. In The Minstrel, indeed, there is 
but little invention: it is a poem of sentiment 
and description, conveying to us lessons of true 
philosophy in language of surpassing beauty, and 
displaying pictures of nature, in her romantic 
solitudes, painted by a master's hand. " On my 
once asking Dr. Beattie," says Sir William Forbes, 
" in what manner he had intended to employ his 
Minstrel, had he completed his original design of 
extending the poem to a third canto, he said, he 
proposed to have introduced a foreign enemy as 
invading his country, in consequence of which the 
Minstrel was to employ himself in rousing his 



lxxvi MEMOIR OF BEATTIE. 

countrymen to arms."* But surely such a con- 
clusion would have formed too violent a contrast 
to the repose of the earlier books ; and the charm 
which attaches us to the meditative Edwin, while 
a wanderer among the lonely hills and groves, 
would have been broken, or at least weakened, 
by placing him amid the throng of warriors and 
the din of arms. 

With the exception of The Hermit and the fol- 
lowing exquisite stanza of Retirement, there is little 
worthy of particular notice in the minor poems 
of Beattie : 

Thy shades, thy silence now be mine, 

Thy charms my only theme ; 
My haunt the hollow cliff, whose pine 

Waves o'er the gloomy stream : 
Whence the scared owl on pinions gray 

Breaks from the rustling houghs, 
And down the lone vale sails away 

To more profound repose. 

* See, too, Beattie's letter to Blacklock, p. xix. of thia 
Memoir. 





ADVERTISEMENT. 

January, 1777. 

jAVING lately seen in print some poems 
ascribed to me which I never wrote, 
and some of my own inaccurately 
copied, I thought it would not be improper to 
publish, in this little volume, all the verses of 
which I am willing to be considered as the author. 
Many others I did indeed write in the early part 
of my life ; but they were in general so incorrect, 
that I would not rescue them from oblivion, even 
if a wish could do it. 

Some of the few now offered to the Public 
would perhaps have been suppressed, if in making 
this collection I had implicitly followed my own 
judgment. But in so small a matter, who would 
refuse to submit his opinion to that of a friend ? 

It is of no consequence to the reader to know 
the date of any of these little poems. But some 
private reasons determine the author to add, 



2 ADVERTISEMENT. 

that most of them were written many years ago, 
and that the greatest part of the Minstkel, 
which is his latest attempt in this way, was com- 
posed in the year one thousand seven hundred 
and sixty-eight. 




PREFACE TO THE MINSTREL. 




HE design was to trace the progress of 
a Poetical Genius, born in a rude age, 
from the first dawnings of fancy and 
reason, till that period at which he may be sup- 
posed capable of appearing in the world as a 
Minstrel, that is, as an itinerant poet and mu- 
sician ; — a character which, according to the 
notions of our forefathers, was not only respect- 
able, but sacred. 

I have endeavoured to imitate Spenser in the 
measure of his verse, and in the harmony, sim- 
plicity, and variety of his composition. Antique 
expressions I have avoided; admitting, however, 
some old words, where they seemed to suit the 
subject : but I hope none will be found that are 
now obsolete, or in any degree not intelligible to 
a reader of English poetry. 

To those who may be disposed to ask, what 



4 PREFACE. 

could induce me to write in so difficult a mea- 
sure, I can only answer, that it pleases my ear, 
and seems, from its Gothic structure and original, 
to bear some relation to the subject and spirit 
of the Poem. It admits both simplicity and 
magnificence of sound and language, beyond any 
other stanza that I am acquainted with. It allows 
the sententiousness of the couplet, as well as the 
more complex modulation of blank verse. What 
some critics have remarked, of its uniformity 
growing at last tiresome to the ear, will be found 
to hold true, only when the poetry is faulty in 
other respects. 




THE MINSTREL. 



BOOK I. 

Me vero primum dulces ante omnia Musae, 
Quarum sacra fero, ingenti perculsus amore, 
Accipiant. Viso. 



^^><^ 




THE MINSTREL; OR, THE PROGRESS 
OF GENIUS. 

BOOK I. 







who can tell how hard it is to 
climb 
The steep where Fame's proud temple 
shines afar ! 
Ah !. who can tell how many a soul sublime 
Has felt the influence of malignant star, 
And waged with Fortune an eternal war ! 
Checked by the scoff of Pride, by Envy's frown, 
And Poverty's unconquerable bar, 
In life's low vale remote has pined alone, 
Then dropt into the grave, unpitied and unknown ! 



ii. 



And yet the languor of inglorious days, 

Not equally oppressive is to all ; 

Him who ne'er listened to the voice of praise, 



10 



8 THE POEMS 

The silence of neglect can ne'er appal. 
There are, who, deaf to mad Ambition's call, 
Would shrink to hear the obstreperous trump of 

Fame ; 
Supremely blest, if to their portion fall 
Health, competence, and peace. Nor higher 
aim 
Had he, whose simple tale these artless lines pro- 
claim. 

in. 
The rolls of fame I will not now explore ; 
Nor need I here describe, in learned lay, 20 
How forth the Minstrel fared in days of yore, 
Right glad of heart, though homely in array; 
His waving locks and beard all hoary grey : 
While from his bending shoulder decent hung 
His harp, the sole companion of his way, 
Which to the whistling wind responsive rung : 
And ever as he went some merry lay he sung. 

IV. 

Fret not thyself, thou glittering child of pride, 
That a poor villager inspires my strain ; 
With thee let Pageantry and Power abide : 30 
The gentle Muses haunt the sylvan reign ; 
Where thro' wild groves at eve the lonely swain 
Enraptur'd roams, to gaze on Nature's charms 
They hate the sensual, and scorn the vain, 
The parasite their influence never warms, 
Nor him whose sordid soul the love of gold alarms. 



OF BEATTIE. 



Though richest hues the peacock's plumes adorn, 
Yet horror screams from his discordant throat. 
Rise, sons of harmony, and hail the morn, 
While warbling larks on russet pinions float ; 40 
Or seek at noon the woodland scene remote, 
Where the grey linnets carol from the hill : 
let them ne'er, with artificial note, 
To please a tyrant, strain the little bill, 
But sing what Heaven inspires, and wander where 
they will ! 

VI; 

Liberal, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand ; 
Nor was perfection made for man below : 
Yet all her schemes with nicest art are planned, 
Good counteracting ill, and gladness woe. 
With gold and gems if Chilian mountains glow ; 
If bleak and barren Scotia's hills arise ; 51 

There plague and poison, lust and rapine grow ; 
Here peaceful are the vales, and pure the skies, 
And freedom fires the soul, and sparkles in the 
eyes. 

VII. 

Then grieve not, thou, to whom th' indulgent 

Muse , 

Vouchsafes a portion of celestial fire ; 
Nor blame the partial Fates, if they refuse 



10 THE POEMS 

The imperial banquet, and the rich attire : 
Know thine own worth, and reverence the lyre. 
Wilt thou debase the heart which God refined ? 
No; let thy heaven-taught soul to heaven aspire, 
To fancy, freedom, harmony, resigned; 62 

Ambition's grovelling crew for ever left behind. 

VIII. 

Canst thou forego the pure ethereal soul 
In each fine sense so exquisitely keen, 
On the dull couch of Luxury to loll, 
Stung with disease, and stupified with spleen ; 
Fain to implore the aid of Flattery's screen, 
Even from thyself thy loathsome heart to hide, 
(The mansion then no more of joy serene), 70 
Where fear, distrust, malevolence abide, 
And impotent desire, and disappointed pride ? 

IX. 

0, how canst thou renounce the boundless store 
Of charms which Nature to her votary yields ! 
The warbling woodland, the resounding shore, 
The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields ; 
All that the genial ray of morning gilds, 
And all that echoes to the song of even, 
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields. 
And all the dread magnificence of Heaven, 8« 
0, how canst thou renounce, and hope to be for- 
given ! 



OF BEATTIE. 11 



These charms shall work thy soul's eternal health, 
And love, and gentleness, and joy impart. 
But these thou must renounce, if lust of wealth 
E'er win its way to thy corrupted heart : 
For, ah ! it poisons like a scorpion's dart ; 
Prompting th' ungenerous wish, the selfish 

scheme, 
The stern resolve unmoved by pity's smart, 
The troublous day, and long distressful dream. 
Return, my roving Muse, resume thy purposed 

theme. 90 

XI. 

There lived in Gothic days, as legends tell, 
A shepherd-swain, a man of low degree ; 
Whose sires, perchance, in Fairyland might 

dwell, 
Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady ; 
But he, I ween, was of the north countrie ; 2 
A nation famed for song, and beauty's charms ; 
Zealous, yet modest ; innocent, though free ; 
Patient of toil ; serene amidst alarms ; 
Inflexible in faith ; invincible in arms. 

1 There is hardly an ancient ballad, or romance, wherein 
a Minstrel or a Harper appears, but he is characterized, by 
way of eminence, to have been " of the north countrie." It 
is probable, that under this appellation were formerly com- 
prehended all the provinces to the north of the Trent. See 
Percy's Essay on the English Minstrels. 



12 THE POEMS 

XII. 

The shepherd-swain of whom I mention made, 100 
On Scotia's mountains fed his little flock ; 
The sickle, scythe, or plough, he never swayed ; 
An honest heart was almost all his stock : 
His drink the living water from the rock ; 
The milky dams supplied his board, and lent 
Their kindly fleece to baffle winter's shock ; 
And he, tho' oft with dust and sweat besprent, 
Did guide and guard their wanderings, wheresoe'er 
they went. 

XIII. 

From labour health, from health contentment 

springs : 
Contentment opes the source of every joy. no 
He envied not, he never thought of, kings ; 
Nor from those appetites sustained annoy, 
That chance may frustrate, or indulgence cloy : 
Nor Fate his calm and humble hopes beguiled ; 
He mourned no recreant friend, nor mistress coy, 
For on his vows the blameless Phoebe smiled, 
And her alone he loved, and loved her from a child. 

XIV. 

No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast, 
Nor blasted were their wedded days with strife ; 
Each season looked delightful, as it past, 120 
To the fond husband, and the faithful wife. 



OF BEATT1E. 155 

Beyond the lowly vale of shepherd life 
They never roamed : secure beneath the storm 
Which in Ambition's lofty land is rife, 
Where peace and love are cankered by the worm 
Of pride, each bud of joy industrious to deform. 

xv. 

The wight, whose tale these artless lines unfold, 
Was all the offspring of this humble pair : 
His birth no oracle or seer foretold ; 
No prodigy appeared in earth or air, 130 

Nor aught that might a strange event declare. 
You guess each circumstance of Edwin's birth ; 
The parent's transport, and the parent's care ; 
The gossip's prayer for wealth, and wit, and 
worth ; 
And one long summer day of indolence and mirth. 

XVI. 

And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy ; 
Deep thought oft seemed to fix his infant eye. 
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaud, nor toy, 
Save one short pipe of rudest minstrelsy : 
Silent when glad ; affectionate, though shy ; uo 
And now his look was most demurely sad ; 
And now he laughed aloud, yet none knew why. 
The neighbours stared and sighed, yet blessed 
the lad : 
Some deemed him wondrous wise, and some be- 
lieved him mad. 



14 THE POEMS 



XVII. 



But why should I his childish feats display ? 
Concourse, and noise, and toil he ever fled ; 
Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous fray 
Of squabbling imps ; but to the forest sped, 
Or roamed at large the lonely mountain's head, 
Or, where the maze of some bewildered stream 150 
To deep untrodden groves his footsteps led, 
There would he wander wild, till Phoebus' beam, 
Shot from the western cliff, released the weary 
team. 

XYIII. 

Th' exploit of strength, dexterity, or speed, 

To him nor vanity nor joy could bring. 

His heart, from cruel sport estranged, would 

bleed 
To work the woe of any living thing, 
By trap, or net ; by arrow, or by sling ; 
These he detested; those he scorned to wield: 
He wished to be the guardian, not the king, ieo 
Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field : 
And sure the sylvan reign unbloody joy might yield. 



Lo ! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves 
Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine ; 
And sees, on high, amidst th' encircling groves, 
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine : 



OF BEATTIE. 15 

While waters, woods, and winds, in concert join, 
And Echo swells the chorus to the skies. 
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign 
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies? 170 
Ah ! no : he better knows great Nature's charms 
to prize. 



And oft he traced the uplands, to survey, 
When o'er the sky advanced the kindling dawn, 
The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain 

grey, 
And lake, dim-gleaming on the smoky lawn : 
Far to the west the long long vale withdrawn, 
Where twilight loves to linger for a while ; 
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn, 
And villager abroad at early toil. 
But, lo ! the Sun appears ! and heaven, earth, 

ocean, smile. iso 

XXI. 

And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb, 
When all in mist the world below was lost. 
What dreadful pleasure ! there to stand sublime, 
Like shipwrecked mariner on desert coast, 
And view th' enormous waste of vapour, tost 
In billows, lengthening to th' horizon round, 
Now scooped in gulfs, with mountains now em- 



16 THE POEMS 

And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound, 
Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar pro- 
found ! 

XXII. 

In truth he was a strange and wayward wight, 190 
Fond of each gentle, and each dreadful scene. 
In darkness, and in storm, he found delight : 
Nor less, than when on ocean-wave serene 
The southern Sun diffused his dazzling shene. 1 
Even sad vicissitude amused his soul : 
And if a sigh would sometimes intervene, 
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll, 
A sigh, a tear, so sweet, he wished not to control. 

» XXIII. 

" Oye wild groves ! where is now your bloom ?" 
(The Muse interprets thus his tender thought) 200 
" Your flowers, your verdure, and your balmy 

gloom, 
Of late so grateful in the hour of drought ? 
Why do the birds, that song and rapture brought 
To all your bowers, their mansions now forsake ? 
Ah ! why has fickle chance this ruin wrought ? 
For now the storm howls mournful through the 

brake, 
And the dead foliage flies in many a shapeless 

flake. 

1 Brightness, splendour. The word is used by some late 
writers, as well as by Milton. 



OF BE ATT IE. 17 

XXIV. 

" Where now the rill, melodious, pure, and cool, 
And meads, with life, and mirth, and beauty 

crowned ! 
Ah ! see, th' unsightly slime and sluggish pool 
Have all the solitary vale imbrowned ; 211 

Fled each fair form, and mute each melting 

sound, 
The raven croaks forlorn on naked spray : 
And, hark! the river, bursting every mound, 
Down the vale thunders, and with wasteful sway 
Uproots the grove, and rolls the shattered rocks 

away. 

xxv. 

" Yet such the destiny of all on Earth : 

So nourishes and fades majestic Man. 

Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings forth, 

. And fostering gales awhile the nursling fan. 220 
Oh, smile, ye heavens, serene ; ye mildews wan, 
Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his balmy prime, 
Nor lessen of his life the little span ! 
Borne on the swift, though silent wings of Time, 

Old age comes on apace to ravage all the clime. 

XXVI. 

" And be it so. Let those deplore their doom, 
Whose hope still grovels in this dark sojourn : 
But lofty souls, who look beyond the tomb, 
C 



18 THE POEMS 

Can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn. 
Shall Spring to these sad scenes no more re- 
turn ? 230 
Is yonder wave the Sun's eternal bed ? 
Soon shall the orient with new lustre burn, 
And Spring shall soon her vital influence shed, 
Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead. 

XXVII. 

" Shall I be left forgotten in the dust, 

When Fate, relenting, lets the flower revive ? 

Shall Nature's voice, to man alone unjust, 

Bid him, though doomed to perish, hope to live '? 

Is it for this fair Virtue oft must strive 

With disappointment, penury, and pain ? 210 

No : Heaven's immortal spring shall yet arrive, 

And man's majestic beauty bloom again, 

Bright through th' eternal year of Love's triumph- 
ant reign." 

XXVIII. 

This truth sublime his simple sire had taught. 
In sooth, 'twas almost all the shepherd knew. 
No subtle nor superfluous lore he sought, 
Nor ever wished his Edwin to pursue. 
" Let man's own sphere," said he, " confine his 

view, 
Be man's peculiar work his sole delight." 249 
And much, and oft, he warned him, to eschew 



OF BEATTIE. 19 

Falsehood and guile, and aye maintain the right, 
By pleasure unseduced, unawed by lawless might. 



XXIX. 

" And, from the prayer of Want, and plaint of 

Woe, 
never, never turn away thine ear ! 
Forlorn, in this bleak wilderness below, 
Ah ! what were man, should Heaven refuse to 

hear ! 
To others do (the law is not severe) 
What to thyself thou wishest to be done. 
Forgive thy foes ; and love thy parents dear, 
And friends, and native land ; nor those alone ; 
\11 human weal and woe learn thou to make thine 

OWn." 261 



XXX. 

See, in the rear of the warm sunny shower 
The visionary boy from shelter fly ; 
For now the storm of summer rain is o'er, 
And cool, and fresh, and fragrant is the sky. 
And, lo ! in the dark east, expanded high, 
The rainbow brightens to the setting Sun ! 
Fond fool, that deem'st the streaming glory nigh, 
How vain the chace thine ardour has begun ! 
'Tis fled afar, ere half thy purposed race be run. 270 



20 THE POEMS 

XXXI. 

Yet couldst thou learn, that thus it fares with 

age, 
Whon pleasure, wealth, or power, the bosom 

warm, 
This baffled hope might tame thy manhood's rage, 
And disappointment of her sting disarm. 
But why should foresight thy fond heart alarm ? 
Perish the lore that deadens young desire ! 
Pursue, poor imp, th' imaginary charm, 
Indulge gay hope, and fancy's pleasing fire : 
Fancy and hope too soon shall of themselves expire. 

XXXII. 

When the long-sounding curfew from afar 28 o 
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale, 
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star, 
Lingering and listening, wandered down the vale. 
There would he dream of graves, and corses pale ; 
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng, 
And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail, 
Till silenced by the owl's terrific song, 
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering aisles 
along. 

XXXIII. 

Or, when the setting Moon, in crimson dyed, 
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep, 290 
To haunted stream, remote from man, he hied, 



OF BEATTIE. 21 

Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep; 
And there let Fancy rove at large, till sleep 
A vision brought to his entranced sight. 
And first, a wildly murmuring wind 'gan creep 
Shrill to his ringing ear ; then tapers bright, 
With instantaneous gleam illumed the vault of 
night. 

XXXIV. 

Anon in view a portal's blazoned arch 
Arose ; the trumpet bids the valves unfold ; 
And forth an host of little warriors march, 300 
Grasping the diamond lance, and targe of gold. 
Their look was gentle, their demeanour bold, 
And green their helms, and green their silk attire ; 
And here and there, right venerably old, 
The long-robed minstrels wake the warbling wire, 
And some with mellow breath the martial pipe in- 
spire. 

XXXV. 

With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear, 
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance ; 
The little warriors doff the targe and spear 309 
And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance. 
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance ; 
To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze ; 
Now bound aloft with vigorous spring, then 
glance 



22 THE POEMS 

Rapid along : with many-coloured rays 
Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze. 

xxxvi. 

The dream is fled. Proud harbinger of day, 
Who scaredst the vision with thy clarion shrill, 
Fell chanticleer ! who oft hast reft away 
My fancied good, and brought substantial ill ! 
to thy cursed scream, discordant still, 320 
Let harmony aye shut her gentle ear ; 
Thy boastful mirth let jealous rivals spill, 
Insult thy crest, and glossy pinions tear, 
And ever in thy dreams the ruthless fox appear ! 

XXXVII. 

Forbear, my Muse. Let Love attune thy line. 
Revoke the spell. Thine Edwin frets not so. 
For how should he at wicked chance repine, 
Who feels from every change amusement flow ? 
Even now his eyes with smiles of rapture glow, 
As on he wanders through the scenes of morn, 330 
Where the fresh flowers in living lustre blow, 
Where thousand pearls the dewy lawns adorn, 
A thousand" notes of joy in every breeze are borne. 

XXXVIII. 

But who the melodies of morn can tell ? 
, The wild brook babbling down the mountain 
aide; 



OF BEATTIE. 23 

The lowing herd ; the sheepfold's simple bell ; 
The pipe of early shepherd dim deseried 
In the lone valley ; echoing far and wide 
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above ; 
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide ; 340 

The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love, 
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove. 



The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark ; 
Crowned with her pail the tripping milkmaid 

sings ; 
The whistling ploughman stalks afield; and, 

hark ! 
Down the rough slope the ponderous waggon 

rings ; 
Thro' rustling corn the hare astonished springs ; 
Slow tolls the village clock the drowsy hour ; 
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings ; 
Deep mourns the turtle in sequestered bower, 350 
And shrill lark carols clear from her aerial tour. 



Nature, how in every charm supreme ! 
Whose votaries feast on raptures ever new ! 
for the voice and fire of seraphim, % 
To sing thy glories with devotion due ! 
Blest be the day I 'scaped the wrangling crew, 
From Pyrrho's maze, and Epicurus' sty ; 



24: THE POEMS 

And held high converse with the godlike few, 
Who to th' enraptured heart, and ear, and eye, 
Teach beauty, virtue, truth, and love, and melody. 

XLI. 

Hence ! ye, who snare and stupify the mind, 361 
Sophists, of beauty, virtue, joy, the bane ! 
Greedy and fell, though impotent and blind, 
Who spread your filthy nets in Truth's fair fane, 
And ever ply your venomed fangs amain ! 
Hence to dark Error's den, whose rankling slime 
First gave you form ! Hence ! lest the Muse 

should deign 
(Though loath on theme so mean to waste a 

rhyme), 
With vengeance to pursue your sacrilegious crime. 

XLII. 

But hail, ye mighty masters of the lay, 370 

Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth ! 
Whose song, sublimely sweet, serenely gay, 
Amused my childhood, and informed my youth. 
let your spirit still my bosom soothe, 
Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings 

guide ! 
Your voice each rugged path of life can smooth, 
For well I know wherever ye reside, 
There harmony, and peace, and innocence abide. 



OF BEATTIE. 25 



XLIII. 



Ah me ! neglected on the lonesome plain, 
As yet poor Edwin never knew your lore, 380 
Save when against the winter's drenching rain, 
And driving snow, the cottage shut the door. 
Then, as instructed by tradition hoar, 
Her legend when the Beldam 'gan impart, 
Or chant the old heroic ditty o'er, 
Wonder and joy ran thrilling to his heart ; 
Much he the tale admired, but more the tuneful art. 

XLIV. 

Various and strange was the long-winded tale ; 
And halls, and knights, and feats of arms dis- 
played ; 389 
Or merry swains, who quaff the nut-brown ale, 
And sing enamoured of the nut-brown maid ; 
The moonlight revel of the fairy glade ; 
Or hags, that suckle an infernal brood, 
And ply in caves th' unutterable trade, 1 
'Midst fiends and spectres, quench the moon in 
blood, 
Yell in the midnight storm, or ride th' infuriate 
flood. 

1 Allusion to Shakespeare. 
Macbeth. How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags ! 

What is't you do? 
Witches. A deed without a name. 

Macbeth, Act iv. Scene 1. 



26 THE POEMS 

XLY. 

But when to horror his amazement rose, 
A gentler strain the Beldam would rehearse, 
A tale of rural life, a tale of woes, 
The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce. 
cruel ! will no pang of pity pierce 401 

That heart, by lust of lucre seared to stone ? 
For sure, if aught of virtue last, or verse, 
To latest times shall tender souls bemoan 
Those hopeless orphan-babes by thy fell arts un- 
done. 

XL VI. 

Behold, with berries smeared, with brambles 

torn, 1 
The babes now famished lay them down to die : 
Amidst the howl of darksome woods forlorn, 
Folded in one another's arms they lie ; 409 

Nor friend nor stranger hears their dying cry ; 
" For from the town the man returns no more.' 
But thou, who Heaven's just vengeance dar'st 

defy, 
This deed with fruitless tears shalt soon deplore, 
When death lays waste thy house, and flames con- 
sume thy store. 

1 See the fine old ballad, called " The Children in the 

Wood." 






OF BEATTIE. 27 

XL VII. 

A stifled smile of stern vindictive joy 
Brightened one moment Edwin's starting tear, 
" But why should gold man's feeble mind decoy, 
And innocence thus die by doom severe ?" 
Edwin ! while thy heart is yet sincere, 
Th' assaults of discontent and doubt repel : 420 
Dark even at noontide is our mortal sphere ; 
But let us hope ; to doubt is to rebel ; 
Let us exult in hope, that all shall yet be well. 

XL VIII. 

Nor be thy generous indignation checked, 
Nor checked the tender tear to Misery given ; 
From Guilt's contagious power shall that protect, 
This soften and refine the soul for heaven. 
But dreadful is their doom, whom doubt has 

driven 
To censure Fate, and pious Hope forego : 
Like yonder blasted boughs by lightning riven, 
Perfection, beauty, life, they never know, 431 
But frown on all that pass, a monument of woe. 

XLIX. 

Shall he, whose birth, maturity, and age, 
Scarce fill the circle of one summer day, 
Shall the poor gnat, with discontent and rage, 
Exclaim that Nature hastens to decay, 



28 THE POEMS 

If but a cloud obstruct the solar ray, 
If but a momentary shower descend ? 
Or shall frail man Heaven's dread decree gainsay, 
Which bade the series of events extend 440 

Wide through unnumbered worlds, and ages with- 
out end ? 

L. 

One part, one little part, we dimly scan 
Thro' the dark medium of life's feverish dream ; 
Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan, 
If but that little part incongruous seem. 
Nor is that part perhaps what mortals deem ; 
Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise. 
then renounce that impious self-esteem, 
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies ! 449 
For thou art but of dust; be humble, and be wise. 

LI. 

Thus Heav'n enlarged his soul in riper years. 
For Nature gave him strength, and fire, to soar 
OnjFancy's wing above this vale of tears; 
Where dark cold-hearted sceptics, creeping, pore 
Through microscope of metaphysic lore : 
And much they grope for Truth, but never hit. 
For why ? Their powers, inadequate before, 
This idle art makes more and more unfit ; 
Yet deem they darkness light, and their vain 
blunders wit. 



OF BEATTIE. 29 

LIT. 

Nor was this ancient Dame a foe to mirth. 430 
Her ballad, jest, and riddle's quaint device 
Oft cheered the shepherds round their social 

hearth ; 
Whom levity or spleen could ne'er entice 
To purchase chat or laughter at the price 
Of decency. Nor let it faith exceed, 
That Nature forms a rustic taste so nice. 
Ah ! had they been of court or city breed, 
Such delicacy were right marvellous indeed. 

LIII. 

Oft when the winter storm had ceased to rave, 
He roamed the snowy waste at even, to view 470 
The cloud stupendous, from th' Atlantic wave 
High-towering, sail along th' horizon blue : 
Where, midst the changeful scenery, ever new, 
Fancy a thousand wondrous forms descries, 
More wildly great than ever pencil drew, 
Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and shapes of giant size, 
And glittering cliffs on cliffs, and fiery ramparts 
rise. 

LIV. 

Thence musing onward to the sounding shore, 
The lone enthusiast oft would take his way, 479 
Listening, with pleasing dread, to the deep roar 
Of the wide-weltering waves. In black array 



30 THE POEMS 

When sulphurous clouds rolled on th' autumnal 

day, 
Even then he hastened from the haunt of man, 
Along the trembling wilderness to stray, 
What time the lightning's fierce career began, 
And o'er heaven's rending arch the rattling thun- 
der ran. 

LV. 

Responsive to the sprightly pipe, when all 
In sprightly dance the village youth were joined, 
Edwin, of melody aye held in thrall, 
From the rude gambol far remote reclined, 490 
Soothed with the soft notes warbling in the wind. 
Ah ! then all jollity seemed noise and folly, 
To the pure soul by Fancy's fire refined ! 
Ah, what is mirth but turbulence unholy, 
When with the charm compared of heavenly me- 
lancholy ! 

LVI. 

Is there a heart that music cannot melt ? 
Alas ! how is that rugged heart forlorn ; 
Is there, who ne'er those mystic transports felt 
Of solitude and melancholy born ? 
He needs not woo the Muse ; he is her scorn. 
The sophist's rope of cobweb he shall twine ; 501 
Mope o'er the schoolman's peevish page; or 
mourn, 



OF BEATTIE. 31 

And delve for life in Mammon's dirty mine ; 
Sneak with the scoundrel fox, or grunt with glut- 
ton swine. 

LVII. 

For Edwin, Fate a nobler doom had planned ; 
Song was his favourite and first pursuit. 
The wild harp rang to his adventurous hand, 
And languished to his breath the plaintive flute. 
His infant Muse, though artless, was not mute : 
Of elegance as yet he took no care ; 510 

For this of time and culture is the fruit ; 
And Edwin gained at last this fruit so rare : 
As in some future verse I purpose to declare. 

LVIII. 

Meanwhile, whate'er of beautiful, or new, 
Sublime, or dreadful, in earth, sea, or sky, 
By chance, or search, was offered to his view, 
He scanned with curious and romantic eye. 
Whate'er of lore tradition could supply 
From Gothic tale, or song, or fable old, 
Roused him, still keen to listen and to pry. 520 
At last, though long by penury controlled, 
And solitude, his soul her graces 'gan unfold. 

LIX. 

Thus on the chill Lapponian's dreary land, 
For many a long month lost in snow profound, 



32 THE POEMS 

When Sol from Cancer sends the season bland, 
And in their northern caves the storms are bonnd ; 
From silent mountains, straight, with startling 

sound, 
Torrents are hurled ; green hills emerge ; and lo, 
The trees with foliage, cliffs with flowers are 

crowned ; 529 

Pure rills through vales of verdure warbling go ; 
And wonder, love, and joy, the peasant's heart 

o'erflow. 1 



Here pause, my Gothic lyre, a little while. 
The leisure hour is all that thou canst claim. 
But on this verse if Montague should smile, 
New strains ere long shall animate thy frame. 
And her applause to me is more than fame ; 
For still with truth accords her taste refined. 
At lucre or renown let others aim, 
I only wish to please the gentle mind, 
Whom Nature's charms inspire, and love of human 
kind. 540 

1 Spring and Autumn are hardly known to the Laplanders. 
About the time the sun enters Cancer, their fields, which a 
week before were covered with snow, appear on a sudden full 
of grass and flowers. — Scheffer's History of Lapland, p. 16. 



THE MINSTEEL. 
BOOK II. 



Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam, 
Rectique cultus pectora roborant. 

HORATt 





THE MINSTREL; OR, THE PROGRESS 
OF GENIUS. 

BOOK H. 
i. 
[F chance or change let not man com- 
plain, 
Else shall he never, never cease to wail: 
For, from the imperial dome, to where 
the swain 
Rears the lone cottage in the silent dale, 
All feel th' assault of fortune's fickle gale ; 
Art, empire, earth itself, to change are doomed ; 
Earthquakes have raised to heaven the humble 

vale, 
And gulfs the mountain's mighty mass entombed, 
And where th' Atlantic rolls wide continents have 
bloomed. 1 

IT. 

But sure to foreign climes we need not range, 
Nor search the ancient records of our race, n 
1 See Plato's Timaeus. 



36 THE POEMS 

To learn the dire effects of time and change, 
Which in ourselves, alas ! we daily trace. 
Yet at the darkened eye, the withered face, 
Or hoary hair, I never will repine : 
But spare, Time, whate'er of mental grace, 
Of candour, love, or sympathy divine, 
Whate'er of fancy's ray, or friendship's flame is 
mine ! 

in. 
So I, obsequious to Truth's dread command, 
Shall here without reluctance change my lay, 20 
And smite the Gothic lyre with harsher hand ; 
Now when I leave that flowery path for aye 
Of childhood, where I sported many a day, 
Warbling and sauntering carelessly along ; 
Where every face was innocent and gay, 
Each vale romantic, tuneful every tongue, 
Sweet, wild, and artless all, as Edwin's infant song. 

IV. 

" Perish the lore that deadens young desire," 
Is the soft tenor of my song no more. 
Edwin, though loved of Heaven, must not aspire 
To bliss, which mortals never knew before, si 
On trembling wings let youthful fancy soar, 
Nor always haunt the sunny realms of joy: 
But now and then the shades of life explore ; 
Though many a sound and sight of woe annoy, 
And many a qualm of care his rising hopes destroy. 



OF BEATTIE. 37 

V. 

Vigour from toil, from trouble patience grows. 
The weakly blossom, warm in summer bower, 
Some tints of transient beauty may disclose ; 
But soon it withers in the chilling hour. 40 

Mark yonder oaks ! Superior to the power 
Of all the warring winds of heaven they rise, 
And from the stormy promontory tower, 
And toss their giant arms amid the skies, 
While each assailing blast increase of strength 
supplies. 

VI, 

r- And now the downy cheek and deepened voice 
Gave dignity to Edwin's blooming prime ; 
And walks of wider circuit were his choice, 
And vales more wild, and mountains more sub- 
lime. 
One evening, as he framed the careless rhyme, 
It was his chance to wander far abroad, 51 

And o'er a lonely eminence to climb, 
Which heretofore his foot had never trode ; 

A vale appeared below, a deep retired abode. 

VII. 

Thither he hied, enamoured of the scene. 
For rocks on rocks piled, as by magic spell, 
Here scorched with lightning, there with ivy 
green, 



38 THE POEMS 

Fenced from the north and east this savage dell. 
Southward a mountain rose with easy swell, 
Whose long long groves eternal murmur made : 
And toward the western sun a streamlet fell, 61 
Where, through the cliffs, the eye, remote, sur- 
veyed 
Blue hills, and glittering waves, and skies in gold 
arrayed. 

VIII. 

Along this narrow valley you might see 
The wild deer sporting on the meadow ground, 
And, here and there, a solitary tree, 
Or mossy stone, or rock with woodbine crowned. 
Oft did the cliffs reverberate the sound 
Of parted fragments tumbling from on high; 70 
And from the summit of that craggy mound 
The perching eagle oft was heard to cry, 
Or on resounding wings, to shoot athwart the sky. 

IX. 

One cultivated spot there was, that spread 
Its flowery bosom to the noonday beam, 
Where many a rosebud rears its blushing head, 
And herbs for food with future plenty teem. 
Soothed by the lulling sound of grove and stream, 
Romantic visions swarm on Edwin's soul : 
He minded not the sun's last trembling gleam, so 
Nor heard from far the twilight curfew toll; 
When slowly on his ear these moving accents stole : 



OF BEATTIE. 39 

X. 

tl Hail, awful scenes, that calm the troubled 

breast, 
And woo the weary to profound repose ! 
Can passion's wildest uproar lay to rest, 
And whisper comfort to the man of woes ! 
Here Innocence may wander, safe from foes, 
And Contemplation soar on seraph wings. 
Solitude ! the man who thee foregoes, 
When lucre lures him, or ambition stings, 90 
Shall never know the source whence real grandeur 

springs. 

XI. 

" Vain man ! is grandeur given to gay attire ? 
Then let the butterfly thy pride upbraid : 
To friends, attendants, armies, bought with hire? 
It is thy weakness that requires their aid : 
To palaces, with gold and gems inlaid? 
They fear the thief, and tremble in the storm : 
To hosts, through carnage who to conquest wade? 
Behold the victor vanquished by the worm ! 
Behold, what deeds of woe the locust can per- 
form ! 100 

XII. 

" True dignity is his whose tranquil mind 
Virtue has raised above the things below ; 
Who, every hope and fear to Heaven resigned, 



40 THE POEMS 

Shrinks not, though Fortune aim her deadliest 

blow." 
This strain from 'midst the rocks was heard to flow 
In solemn sounds. Now beamed the evening star ; 
And from embattled clouds emerging slow 
Cynthia came riding on her silver car ; 
And hoary mountain-cliffs shone faintly from afar. 

XIII. 

Soon did the solemn voice its theme renew ; no 
(While Edwin wrapt in wonder listening stood) 
" Ye tools and toys of tyranny, adieu, 
Scorn'd by the wise, and hated by the good ! 
Ye only can engage the servile brood 
Of Levity and Lust, who all their days, 
Ashamed of truth and liberty, have wooed 
And hugged the chain that, glittering on their 

gaze, 
Seems to outshine the pomp of heaven's empyreal 

blaze. 

xiv. 

" Like them, abandoned to Ambition's sway, 
I sought for glory in the paths of guile ; 120 

And fawned and smiled, to plunder and betray, 
Myself betrayed and plundered all the while ; 
So gnawed the viper the corroding file : 
But now, with pangs of keen remorse, I rue 
Those years of trouble and debasement vile. 
Yet why should I this cruel theme pursue ? 
Fly, fly, detested thoughts, for ever from my view! 



OF BEATTIE. 41 

XV. 

" The gusts of appetite, the clouds of care, 
And storms of disappointment, all o'erpast, 
Henceforth no earthly hope with Heaven shall 

share 130 

This heart, where peace serenely shines at last. 
And if for me no treasure be amassed, 
And if no future age shall hear my name, 
I lurk the more secure from fortune's blast, 
And with more leisure feed this pious flame, 
Whose rapture far transcends the fairest hopes of 

fame. 

XVI. 

" The end and the reward of toil is rest. 
Be all my prayer for virtue and for peace. 
Of wealth and fame, of pomp and power pos- 



Who ever felt his weight of woe decrease ? ho 
Ah ! what avails the lore of Rome and Greece, 
The lay heaven-prompted, and harmonious string, 
The dust of Ophir, or the Tyrian fleece, 
All that art, fortune, enterprise, can bring, 
If envy, scorn, remorse, or pride the bosom wring 

XVII. 

" Let Vanity adorn the marble tomb 
With trophies, rhymes, and scutcheons of re- 
nown, 
In the deep dungeon of some Gothic dome, 



42 THE POEMS 

Where night and desolation ever frown. 
Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down ; 150 
Where a green grassy turf is all I crave, 
With here and there a violet bestrown, 
Fast by a brook or fountain's murmuring wave ; 
And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave. 

XVIII. 

" And thither let the village swain repair ; 
And, light of heart, the village maiden gay, 
To deck with flowers her half-dishevelled hair, 
And celebrate the merry morn of May. 
There let the shepherd's pipe the live-long day 
Fill all the grove with love's bewitching woe; ieo 
And when mild Evening comes in mantle grey, 
Let not the blooming band make haste to go ; 
No ghost, nor spell, m} 7 long and last abode shall 
know. 

XIX. 

" For though I fly to 'scape from Fortune's rage, 
And bear the scars of envy, spite, and scorn, 
Yet with mankind no horrid war I wage, 
Yet with no impious spleen my breast is torn : 
For virtue lost, and ruined man, I mourn. 
man ! creation's pride, Heaven's darling child, 
Whom Nature's best, divinest gifts adorn, 170 
Why from thy home are truth and joy exiled, 
And all thy favourite haunts with blood and tears 
defiled? 



OF BEATTIE. 43 



XX. 



" Along yon glittering sky what glory streams ! 
What majesty attends Night's lovely queen ! 
Fair laugh our valleys in the vernal beams ; 
And mountains rise, and oceans roll between, 
And all conspire to beautify the scene. 
But, in the mental world, what chaos drear ! 
What forms of mournful, loathsome, furious 

mien ! 
when shall that eternal morn appear, iso 
These dreadful forms to chase, this chaos dark to 
clear ? 

XXI. 

" Thou, at whose creative smile, yon heaven, 
In all the pomp of beauty, life, and light, 
Rose from th' abyss; when dark confusion, driven 
Down down the bottomless profound of night, 
Fled, where he ever flies Thy piercing sight ! 
glance on these sad shades one pitying ray, 
To blast the fury of oppressive might, 
Melt the hard heart to love and mercy's sway, 
And cheer the wandering soul, and light him on 
the way !" 90 

XXII. 

Silence ensued : and Edwin raised his eyes 
In tears, for grief lay heavy at his heart. 



44 THE POEMS 

" And is it thus in courtly life," he cries, 
" That man to man acts a betrayer's part ? 
And dares he thus the gifts of Heaven pervert, 
Each social instinct, and sublime desire ? 
Hail Poverty, if honour, wealth, and art, 
If what the great pursue, and learned admire, 
Thus dissipate and quench the soul's ethereal fire ! " 

XXIII. 

He said, and turned away ; nor did the sage 200 
O'erhear, in silent orisons employed. 
The youth, his rising sorrow to assuage, 
Home as he hied, the evening scene enjoyed : 
For now no cloud obscures the starry void ; 
The yellow moonlight sleeps on all the hills j 1 
Nor is the mind with startling sounds annoyed, 
A soothing murmur the lone region fills, 
Of groves, and dying gales, and melancholy rills. 

XXIV. 

But he from day to day more anxious grew, 
The voice still seemed to vibrate on his ear. 21 
Nor durst he hope the hermit's tale untrue ; 
For man he seemed to love, and Heaven to fear ; 
And none speaks false, where there is none to hear. 
" Yet can man's gentle heart become so fell ? 
No more in vain conjecture let me wear 

1 How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this hank. 

Shakespeare. 



OF BEATTIE. 45 

My hours away, but seek the hermit's cell ; 
'Tis he my doubt can clear, perhaps my care dispel." 

XXV. 

At early dawn the youth his journey took, 
And many a mountain passed and valley wide, 
Then reached the wild ; where, in a flowery nook, 
And seated on a mossy stone, he spied 221 

An ancient man : his harp lay him beside. 
A stag sprang from the pasture at his call, 
And, kneeling, licked the withered hand that tied 
A wreath of woodbine round his antlers tall, 
And hung his lofty neck with many a floweret smalL 

XXVI. 

And now the hoary sage arose, and saw 
The wanderer approaching : innocence 
Smiled on his glowing cheek, but modest awe 
Depressed his eye, that feared to give offence. 
" Who art thou, courteous stranger ? and from 
whence ? 231 

Why roam thy steps to this sequestered dale ?" 
"A shepherd-boy," the youth replied, "far hence 
My habitation ; hear my artless tale ; 
Nor levity nor falsehood shall thine ear assail. 

XXVII. 

" Late as I roamed, intent on Nature's charms, 
I reached at eve this wilderness profound ; 



46 THE POEMS 

And, leaning where yon oak expands her arms. 
Heard these rude cliffs thine awful voice rebound ; 
(For in thy speech I recognize the sound). 240 
You mourned for ruined man, and virtue lost, 
And seemed to feel of keen remorse the wound, 
Pondering on former days by guilt engrossed, 
Or in the giddy storm of dissipation tossed. 

XXVIII. 

" But say, in courtly life can craft be learned, 
Where knowledge opens, and exalts the soul ? 
Where Fortune lavishes her gifts unearned, 
Can selfishness the liberal heart control ? 
Is glory there achieved by arts, as foul 
As those that felons, fiends, and furies plan ? 250 
Spiders ensnare, snakes poison, tigers prowl; 
Love is the godlike attribute of man. 
teach a simple youth this mystery to scan ! 

XXIX. 

" Or else the lamentable strain disclaim, 
And give me back the calm, contented mind ; 
Which, late exulting, viewed in Nature's frame, 
Goodness untainted, wisdom unconfined, 
Grace, grandeur, and utility combined. 
Restore those tranquil days, that saw me still 
Well pleased with all, but most with humankind; 
When Fancy roamed through Nature's works at 

Will, 261 

Unchecked by cold distrust, and uninformed by ill." 



OF BEATTIE. 47 



XXX. 



" Wouldst thou, the sage replied, " in peace 

return 
To the gay dreams of fond romantic youth, 
Leave me to hide, in this remote sojourn, 
From every gentle ear the dreadful truth : 
For if my desultory strain with ruth 
And indignation make thine eyes o'erflow, 
Alas ! what comfort could thy anguish soothe, 
Shouldst thou th' extent of human folly know? 
Be ignorance thy choice, where knowledge leads 
to woe. 271 

XXXI. 

" But let untender thoughts afar be driven ; 
Nor venture to arraign the dread decree. 
For know, to man, as candidate for heaven, 
The voice of the Eternal said, Be free : 
And this divine prerogative to thee 
Does virtue, happiness, and heaven convey ; 
For virtue is the child of liberty, 
And happiness of virtue ; nor can they 
Be free to keep the path, who are not free to 
stray. 280 

XXXII. 

" Yet leave me not. I would allay that grief, 
Which else might thy young virtue overpower ; 
And in thy converse I shall find relief: 



48 THE POEMS 

When the dark shades of melancholy lower ; 
For solitude has many a dreary hour, 
Even when exempt from grief, remorse, and pain: 
Come often then ; for, haply, in my bower, 
Amusement, knowledge, wisdom thou may'st 
gain: 
If I one soul improve, I have not lived in vain." 

XXXIII. 

And now, at length, to Edwin's ardent gaze 290 
The Muse of history unrolls her page. 
But few, alas ! the scenes her art displays, 
To charm his fancy, or his heart engage. 
Here chiefs their thirst of power in blood assuage, 
And straight their flames with tenfold fierceness 

burn: 
Here smiling Virtue prompts the patriot's rage, 
But lo, ere long, is left alone to mourn, 
And languish in the dust, and clasp the abandoned 
urn ! 

XXXIV. 

" Ambition's slippery verge shall mortals tread, 
Where ruin's gulf, unfathomed yawns beneath? 
Shall life, shall liberty be lost," he said, 301 

" For the vain toys that pomp and power be- 
queath ? 
The car of victory, the plume, the wreath, 
Defend not from the bolt of fate the brave : 



OF BEATT1E. 49 

No note the clarion of renown can breathe, 
To alarm the long night of the lonely grave, 
Or check the headlong haste of time's o'erwhelming 
wave. 

xxxv. 

" Ah, what avails it to have traced the springs 
That whirl of empire the stupendous wheel ? 
Ah, what have I to do with conquering kings, 
Hands drenched in blood, and breasts begirt 

with steel ? 311 

To those, whom Nature taught to think and feel, 
Heroes, alas ! are things of small concern. 
Could History man's secret heart reveal, 
And what imports a heaven -born mind to learn, 
Her transcripts to explore what bosom would not 

yearn ? 

xxxvi. 

" This praise, Cheronean sage, 1 is thine ! 
(Why should this praise to thee alone belong V) 
All else from Nature's moral path decline, 
Lured by the toys that captivate the throng ; 320 
To herd in cabinets and camps, among 
Spoil, carnage, and the cruel pomp of pride ; 
Or chant of heraldry the drowsy song, 
How tyrant blood, o'er many a region wide, 
Rolls to a thousand thrones its execrable tide. 

1 Plutarch. 



50 THE POEMS 

XXXVII. 
" Oh, who of man the story will unfold, 
Ere victory and empire wrought annoy ; 
In that Elysian age (misnamed of gold) 
The age of love, and innocence, and joy, 
When all were great and free ! man's sole employ 
To deck the bosom of his parent earth ; 331 

Or toward his bower the murmuring stream 

decoy, 
To aid the floweret's long-expected birth, 
And lull the bed of peace, and crown the board 

of mirth. 

XXXVIII. 

" Sweet were your shades, ye primeval groves ! 

Whose boughs to man his food and shelter lent, 

Pure in his pleasures, happy in his loves, 

His eye still smiling, and his heart content. 

Then, hand in hand, health, sport, and labour 
went. 

Nature supplied the wish she taught to crave. 

None prowled for prey, none watched to circum- 
vent. 341 

To all an equal lot Heaven's bounty gave : 
No vassal feared his lord, no tyrant feared his slave. 

XXXIX. 

" Eut ah ! th' historic Muse has never dared 
To pierce those hallowed bowers : 'tis Fancy's 
beam 



OF BEATTIE. 51 

Poured on the vision of th' enraptured bard, 
That paints the charms of that delicious theme. 
Then hail sweet Fancy's ray ! and hail the dream 
That weans the weary soul from guilt and woe ! 
Careless what others of my choice may deem, 
I long, where Love and Fancy lead, to go 351 
And meditate on Heaven; enough of Earth I know." 

XL. 

" I cannot blame thy choice,'' the sage replied, 
" For soft and smooth are Fancy's flowery ways. 
And yet, even there, if left without a guide, 
The young adventurer unsafely plays. 
Eyes dazzled long by fiction's gaudy rays, 
In modest truth no light nor beauty find. 
And who, my child, would trust the meteor- 
blaze, 
That soon must fail, and leave the wanderer 

blind, 360 

More dark and helpless far, than if it ne'er had 
shined ? 

XLI. 

" Fancy enervates, while it soothes, the heart, 
And, while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight ; 
To joy each heightening charm it can impart, 
But wraps the hour of woe in tenfold night. 
And often, where no real ills affright, 
Its visionary fiends, an endless train, 



52 THE POEMS 

Assail with equal or superior might, 
And through the throbbing heart, and dizzy brain, 
And shivering nerves, shoot stings of more than 
mortal pain. 370 

XLII. 

" And yet, alas ! the real ills of life 
Claim the full vigour of a mind prepared, 
Prepared for patient, long, laborious strife, 
Its guide experience, and truth its guard. 
We fare on earth as other men have fared. 
Were they successful ? Let not us despair. 
Was disappointment oft their sole reward ? 
Yet shall their tale instruct, if it declare 
How they have borne the load ourselves are doomed 
to bear. 

XLIII. 

" What charms th' historic Muse adorn, from 

Spoils, 380 

And blood, and tyrants, when she wings her 

flight, 
To hail the patriot prince, whose pious toils, 
Sacred to science, liberty, and right, 
And peace, through every age divinely bright 
Shall shine the boast and wonder of mankind ! 
Sees yonder Sun, from his meridian height, 
A lovelier scene, than virtue thus enshrined 
In power, and man with man for mutual aid com- 
bined ? 



OF BEATTIE. 53 

XLIV. 

" Hail sacred Polity, by Freedom reared ! sso 
Hail sacred Freedom, when by law restrained ! 
Without you what were man ? A grovelling herd, 
In darkness, wretchedness, and want enchained. 
Sublimed by you, the Greek and Roman reigned 
In arts unrivalled : 0, to latest days, 
In Albion may your influence unprofaned 
To godlike worth the generous bosom raise, 
And prompt the sage's lore, and fire the poet's lays J 

XLV. 

" But now let other themes our care engage. 
For lo, with modest yet majestic grace, 
To curb Imagination's lawless rage, 400 

And from within the cherished heart to brace^ 
Philosophy appears ! The gloomy race 
By Indolence and moping Fancy bred, 
Fear, Discontent, Solicitude, give place, 
And Hope and Courage brighten in their stead, 
While on the kindling soul her vital beams are shed. 

XLVI. 

" Then waken from long lethargy to life * 

The seeds of happiness, and powers of thought ; 

1 The influence of the philosophic spirit, in humanizing 
the mind, and preparing it for intellectual exertion and 
delicate pleasure ; — in exploring, by the help of geometry, 
the system of the universe;— in banishing superstition; — in 
promoting navigation, agriculture, medicine, and moral and 
political science. 



54 THE POEMS 

Then jarring appetites forego their strife, 
A strife by ignorance to madness wrought. 410 
Pleasure by savage man is dearly bought 
With fell revenge, lust that defies control, 
With gluttony and death. The mind untaught * 
Is a dark waste, where fiends and tempests howl ; 
As Phoebus to the world, is science to the soul. 

XL VII. 

" And Reason now through number, time, and 

space, 
Darts the keen lustre of her serious eye, 
And learns, from facts compared, the laws to 

trace, 
Whose long progression leads to Deity. 419 

Can mortal strength presume to soar so high ? 
Can mortal sight, so oft bedimmed with tears, 
Such glory bear ?— for lo, the shadows fly 
From Nature's face ; confusion disappears, 
And order charms the eye, and harmony the ears ! 

XLYIII. 

" In the deep windings of the grove, no more 
The hag obscene and grisly phantom dwell ; 
Nor in the fall of mountain-stream, or roar 
Of winds, is heard the angry spirit's yell ; 
No wizard mutters the tremendous spell, 
Nor sinks convulsive in prophetic swoon ; 43c 
Nor bids the noise of drums and trumpets swell. 






OF BEATTIE. 55 

To ease of fancied pangs the labouring Moon, 
Or chase the shade that blots the blazing orb of 
noon. 

XLIX. 

" Many a long-lingering year, in lonely isle, 
Stunned with th' eternal turbulence of waves, 
Lo, with dim eyes, that never learned to smile, 
And trembling hands, the famished native craves 
Of Heaven his wretched fare : shivering in caves, 
Or scorched on rocks, he pines from day to day ; 
But Science gives the word ; and lo, he braves 
The surge and tempest, lighted by her ray, 441 
And to a happier land wafts merrily away ! 



"And even where Nature loads the teeming plain 
With the full pomp of vegetable store, 
Her bounty, unimproved, is deadly bane. 
Dark woods and rankling wilds, from shore to 

%hore, 
Stretclf, their enormous gloom ; which to explore 
Even Iiancy trembles, in her sprightliest mood ; 
For there each eyeball gleams with lust of gore, 
Nestles each murderous and each monstrous 

brood, 450 

Plague lurks in every shade, and steams from 

every flood. 



56 THE POEMS 

LI. 

" 'Twas from Philosophy man learned to tame 
The soil, by plenty to intemperance fed. 
Lo, from the echoing axe, and thundering flame, 
Poison and plague and yelling rage are fled ! 
The waters, bursting from their slimy bed, 
Bring health and melody to every vale : 
And, from the breezy main, and mountain's head, 
Ceres and Flora, to the sunny dale, 
To fan their glowing charms, invite the fluttering 
gale. 460 

LII. 

" What dire necessities on every hand 
Our art, our strength, our fortitude require ! 
Of foes intestine what a numerous band 
Against this little throb of life conspire ! 
Yet Science can elude their fatal ire 
A while, and turn aside Death's levelled dart, 
Soothe the sharp pang, allay the fever's fire, 
And brace the nerves once more, and cheer the 
heart, 
And yet a few soft nights and balmy days impart. 

LIII. 

" Nor less to regulate man's moral frame 470 
Science exerts her all-composing sway. — 
Mutters thy breast with fear, or pants for fame. 



OF BEATTIE. 57 

Or pines, to indolence and spleen a prey, 
Or avarice, a fiend more fierce than they ? 
Flee to the shade of Academus' grove ; 
Where cares molest not, discord melts away 
In harmony, and the pure passions prove 
How sweet the words of Truth breathed from the 
lips of Love. 

LIV. 

" What cannot Art and Industry perform, 
When Science plans the progress of their toil ! 
Tlj^y smile at penury, disease, and storm ; 481 
And oceans from their mighty mounds recoil. 
When tyrants scourge, or demagogues embroil 
A land, or when the rabble's headlong rage 
Order transforms to anarchy and spoil, 
Deep-versed in man the philosophic sage 
Prepares with lenient hand their frenzy to assuage. 

LV. 

" 'Tis he alone, whose comprehensive mind, 
From situation, temper, soil, and clime . 
Explored, a nation's various powers can bind, 
And various orders, in one form sublime 491 
Of polity, that, midst the wrecks of time, 
Secure shall lift its head on high, nor fear 
Th' assault of foreign or domestic crime, 
While public faith, and public love sincere, 
And industry and law, maintain their sway severe," 



58 THE POEMS 

LVI. 

Enraptured by the hermit's strain, the youth 
Proceeds the path of science to explore. 
And now, expanded to the beams of truth, 
New energies and charms unknown before 500 
His mind discloses : Fancy now no more 
Wantons on fickle pinion through the skies ; 
But, fixed in aim, and conscious of her power, 
Aloft from cause to cause exults to rise, 
Creation's blended stores arranging as she flies. 

LYII. 

Nor love of novelty alone inspires, 
Their laws and nice dependencies to scan ; 
For, mindful of the aids that life requires, 
And of the services man owes to man, 
He meditates new arts on Nature's plan ; 510 
The cold desponding breast of sloth to warm, 
The flame of industry and genius fan, 
And emulation's noble rage alarm, 
And the long hours of toil and solitude to charm. 

LVIII. 

But she, who set on fire his infant heart, 
And all his dreams, and all his wanderings shared 
And blessed, the Muse, and her celestial art, 
Still claim th' enthusiast's fond and first regard. 
From Nature's beauties, variously compared 



OF BEATTIE. 59 

And variously combined, he learns to frame 520 
Those forms of bright perfection, 1 which the bard, 
While boundless hopes and boundless views in- 
flame, 
Enamoured consecrates to never-dying fame. 

LIX. 

Of late, with cumbersome, tho' pompous show, 
Edwin would oft his flowery rhyme deface, 
Through ardour to adorn ; but Nature now 
To his experienced eye a modest grace 
Presents, where ornament the second place 
Holds, to intrinsic worth and just design 
Subservient still. Simplicity apace 530 

v Tempers his rage ; he owns her charm divine, 
And clears th' ambiguous phrase, and lops th' un- 
wieldy line. 

LX. 

Fain would I sing (much yet unsung remains) 
What sweet delirium o'er his bosom stole, 
When the great shepherd of the Mantuan plains ~ 
His deep majestic melody 'gan roll : 
Fain would I sing what transport stormed his soul, 

1 General ideas of excellence, the immediate archetypes 
of sublime imitation, both in painting and in poetry. See 
Aristotle's Poetics, and the Discourses of Sir Joshua Rey- 
nolds. 

2 Virgil. 



60 THE POEMS 

How the red current throbbed his veins along, 
When, like Pelides, bold beyond control, 
Without art graceful, without effort strong, 540 
Homer raised high to Heaven the loud, th' im- 
petuous song. 

LXI. 

And how his lyre, though rude her first essays, 
Now skilled to soothe, to triumph, to complain, 
Warbling at will through each harmonious maze, 
Was taught to modulate the artful strain, 
I fain would sing : — but ah ! I strive in vain. 
Sighs from a breaking heart my voice confound. 
With trembling step, to join yon weeping train, 
I- haste, where gleams funereal glare around, 
And, mixed with shrieks of woe, the knells of death 
resound. 550 

LXII. 

Adieu, ye lays, that Fancy's flowers adorn, 
The soft amusement of the vacant mind ! 
He sleeps in dust, and all the Muses mourn, 
He, whom each virtue fired, each grace refined, 
Friend, teacher, pattern, darling of mankind ! 
He sleeps in dust. J Ah, how shall I pursue 
My theme ? To heart-consuming grief resigned, 
Here on his recent grave I fix my view, 
And pour my bitter tears. Ye flowery lays, adieu ! 

1 This excellent person died suddenly on the 10th of 
February, 1773, The conclusion of the poem was written a 
few days after. 



OF BEATTIE. 61 

LXIII. 

Art thou, my Gregory, for ever fled ? 560 

And am I left to unavailing woe ? 
When fortune's storms assail this weary head, 
Where cares long since have shed untimely snow, 
Ah, now for comfort whither shall I go ? 
No more thy soothing voice my anguish' cheers : 
Thy placid eyes with smiles no longer glow, 
My hopes to cherish, and allay my fears. 
'Tis meet that I should mourn : flow forth afresh, 
my tears. 





62 THE POEMS 



RETIREMENT. 1758. 

HEN in the crimson cloud of even 
The lingering light decays, 
And Hesper on the front of heaven 
His glittering gem displays ; 
Deep in the silent vale, unseen, 

Beside a lulling stream, 
A pensive youth of placid mien 
Indulged this tender theme : 

" Ye cliffs, in hoary grandeur piled 

High o'er the glimmering dale ; 10 

Ye woods, along whose windings wild 

Murmurs the solemn gale : 
Where Melancholy strays forlorn, 

And Woe retires to weep, 
What time the wan moon's yellow horn 

Gleams on the western deep ! 

" To you, ye wastes, whose- artless charms 

Ne'er drew ambition's eye, 
Scaped a tumultuous world's alarms, 

To your retreats I fly. 20 

Deep in your most sequestered bower 

Let me at last recline, 
Where Solitude, mild, modest power, 

Leans on her ivied shrine. 



OF BEATTIE. 63 

" How shall I woo thee, matchless fair ? 

Thy heavenly smile how win ? 
Thy smile that smooths the brow of Care, 

And stills the storm within. 
wilt thou to thy favourite grove 

Thine ardent votary bring, 30 

And bless his hours, and bid them move 

Serene, on silent wing ? 

" Oft let Remembrance soothe his mind 

With dreams of former days, 
When in the lap of Peace reclined 

He framed his infant lays ; 
When Fancy roved at large, nor Care 

Nor cold Distrust alarmed, 
Nor Envy with malignant glare 

His simple youth had harmed. 40 

" 'Twas then, Solitude ! to thee 

His early vows were paid, 
From heart sincere, and warm, and free, 

Devoted to the shade. 
Ah, why did Fate his steps decoy 

In stormy paths to roam, 
Remote from all congenial joy ? — 

take the wanderer home ! 

" Thy shades, thy silence now be mine, 

Thy charms my only theme ; 50 

My haunt the hollow cliff, whose pine 
Waves o'er the gloomy stream, 



64 THE POEMS 

Whence the scared owl on pinions grey 
Breaks from the rustling boughs, 

And down the lone vale sails away 
To more profound repose. 

" while to thee the woodland pours 

Its wildly- warbling song, 
And balmy from the bank of flowers 

The Zephyr breathes along ; 60 

Let no rude sound invade from far, 

No vagrant foot be nigh, 
No ray from Grandeur's gilded car 

Flash on the startled eye. 

" But if some pilgrim through the glade 

Thy hallowed bowers explore, 
guard from harm his hoary head, 

And listen to his lore ; 
For he of joys divine shall tell 

That wean from earthly woe, 70 

And triumph o'er the mighty spell 

That chains his heart below. 

" For me no more the path invites 

Ambition loves to tread : 
No more I climb those toilsome heights 

By guileful Hope misled ; 
Leaps my fond fluttering heart no more 

To Mirth's enlivening strain ; 
For present pleasure soon is o'er, 

And all the past is vain." 80 




OF BEATTIE. 65 

ELEGY. 

WRITTEN IN" THE TEAR 1758. 

TILL shall unthinking man substantial 
deem 
The forms that fleet through life's de- 
ceitful dream ? 
Till at some stroke of Fate the vision flies, 
And sad realities in prospect rise ; 
And, from Elysian slumbers rudely torn, 
The startled soul awakes, to think, and mourn. 

ye, whose hours in jocund train advance, 
Whose spirits to the song of gladness dance, 
Who flowery plains in endless pomp survey, 
Glittering in beams of visionary day ; ^ 10 

yet, while Fate delays th' impending woe, 
Be roused to thought, anticipate the blow ; 
Lest, like the lightning's glance, the sudden ill 
Flash to confound, and penetrate to kill ; 
Lest, thus encompassed with funereal gloom, 
Like me, ye bend o'er some untimely tomb, 
Pour your wild ravings in Night's frighted ear, 
And half pronounce Heaven's sacred doom severe. 

Wise, beauteous, good ! every grace combined, 
That charms the eye, or captivates the mind ! 20 
Fresh, as the floweret opening on the morn, 

F 



66 THE POEMS 

Whose leaves bright drops of liquid pearl adorn ! 

Sweet, as the downy-pinioned gale, that roves 

To gather fragrance in Arabian groves ! 

Mild, as the melodies at close of day, 

That, heard remote, along the vale decay ! 

Yet, why with these compared ? What tints so fine 

What sweetness, mildness, can be matched with 

thine ? 
Why roam abroad, since recollection true 
Restores the lovely form to fancy's view ? 30 

Still let me gaze, and every care beguile, 
Gaze on that cheek, where all the Graces smile ; 
That soul-expressing eye, benignly bright, 
Where meekness beams ineffable delight ; 
That brow, where wisdom sits enthroned serene, 
Each feature forms, and dignifies the mien : 
Still let me listen, while her words impart 
The sweet effusions of the blameless heart, 
Till all my soul, each tumult charmed away, 
Yields, gently led, to Virtue's easy sway. 40 

By thee inspired, Virtue, age is young, 
And music warbles from the faltering tongue : 
Thy ray creative cheers the clouded brow, 
And decks the faded cheek with rosy glow, 
Brightens the joyless aspect, and supplies 
Pure heavenly lustre to the languid eyes : 
But when youth's living bloom reflects thy beams, 
Resistless on the view the glory streams ; 
Love, wonder, joy, alternately alarm, 
And beauty dazzles with angelic charm. 50 



OF BEATTIE. 67 

Ah, whither fled ! ye dear illusions, stay ! 
Lo ! pale and silent lies the lovely clay. 
How are the roses on that cheek decayed, 
Which late the purple light of youth displayed ! 
Health on her form each sprightly grace bestowed ; 
With life and thought each speaking feature glowed. 
Fair was the blossom, soft the vernal sky ; 
Elate with hope, we deemed no tempest nigh : 
When lo ! a whirlwind's instantaneous gust 
Left all its beauties withering in the dust. eo 

Cold the soft hand, that soothed Woe's weary 
head! 
And quenched the eye, the pitying tear that shed ! 
And mute the voice, whose pleasing accents stole, 
Infusing balm, into the rankled soul ! 
Death, why arm with cruelty thy power, 
And spare the idle weed, yet lop the flower ? 
Why fly thy shafts in lawless error driven ? 
Is Virtue then no more the care of Heaven ? 
But peace, bold thought ! be still, my bursting 

heart ! 
We, not Eliza, felt the fatal dart. 70 

Escaped the dungeon, does the slave complain, 
Nor bless the friendly hand that broke the chain ? 
Say, pines not Virtue for the lingering morn, 
On this dark wild condemned to roam forlorn ? 
Where Reason's meteor-rays, with sickly glow, 
O'er the dun gloom a dreadful glimmering throw ; 
Disclosing dubious to th' affrighted eye 
O'erwhelming mountains tottering from on high, 



68 THE POEMS 

Black billowy deeps in storms perpetual tost, 
And weary ways in wildering labyrinths lost ? so 
happy stroke, that, bursts the bonds of clay, 
Darts through the rending gloom the blaze of day, 
And wings the soul with boundless flight to soar, 
Where dangers threat, and fears alarm no more. 
Transporting thought ! here let me wipe away 
The tear of grief, and wake a bolder lay. 
But ah ! the swimming eye o'erflows anew ; 
Nor check the sacred drops to pity due ; 
Lo, where in speechless, hopeless anguish, bend 
O'er her loved dust, the parent, brother, friend ! 90 
How vain the hope of man ! but cease thy strain, 
Nor sorrow's dread solemnity profane ; 
Mixed with yon drooping mourners, on her bier 
In silence shed the sympathetic tear. 



ODE TO HOPE. 

1. 1. 

THOU, who gladd'st the pensive soul, 
More than Aurora's smile the swain 

forlorn, 
Left all night long to mourn 
Where desolation frowns, and tempests howl ; 
And shrieks of woe, as intermits the storm, 
Far o'er the monstrous wilderness resound, 




OF BEATTIE. 69 

And 'cross the gloom darts many a shapeless form, 
And many a fire-eyed visage glares around ; 
come, and be once more my guest ! 
Come, for thou oft thy suppliant's vow hast heard, 
And oft with smiles indulgent cheered 11 

And soothed him into rest. 

I. 2. 

Smit by thy rapture-beaming eye 

Deep flashing through the midnight of their mind, 

The sable bands combined, 

Where Fear's black banner bloats the troubled sky, 

Appalled retire. Suspicion hides her head, 

Nor dares the obliquely gleaming eyeball raise ; 

Despair, with gorgon-figured veil o'erspread, 

Speeds to dark Phlegethon's detested maze. 20 

Lo, startled at the heavenly ray, 

With speed unwonted Indolence npsprings, 

And, heaving, lifts her leaden wings, 

And sullen glides away : 

I. 3. 

Ten thousand forms, by pining Fancy viewed, 

Dissolve. — Above the sparkling flood 

When Phoebus rears his awful brow, 

From lengthening lawn and valley low 

The troops of fen-born mists retire. 

Along the plain 30 

The joyous swain 



70 THE POEMS 

Eyes the gay villages again, 

And gold-illumined spire ; 

While on the billowy ether borne 

Floats the loose lay's jovial measure ; 

And light along the fairy Pleasure, 

Her green robes glittering to the morn, 

Wantons on silken wing. And goblins all 

To the damp dungeon shrink, or hoary hall, 

Or westward, with impetuous flight, 40 

Shoot to the desert realms of their congenial night. 

ii. 1. 
When first on childhood's eager gaze 
Life's varied landscape, stretched immense around, 
Starts out of night profound, 
Thy voice incites to tempt th' untrodden maze. 
Fond he surveys thy mild maternal face, 
His bashful eye still kindling as he views, 
And, while thy lenient arm supports his pace, 
With beating heart the upland path pursues : 
The path that leads where, hung sublime, so 

And seen afar, youth's gallant trophies, bright 
In Fancy's rainbow ray, invite 
His wingy nerves to climb. 

II. 2. 

Pursue thy pleasurable way, 

Safe in the guidance of thy heavenly guard, 

While melting airs are heard, 

And soft-eyed cherub-forms around thee play : 



OF BEATTIE. 71 

Simplicity, in careless flowers arrayed, 

Prattling amusive in his accent meek ; 

And Modesty, half turning as afraid, 60 

The smile just dimpling on his glowing cheek ! 

Content and Leisure, hand in hand 

With Innocence and Peace, advance and sing ; 

And Mirth, in many a mazy ring, 

Frisks o'er the flowery land. 

II. 3. 

Frail man, how various is thy lot below ! 

To-day though gales propitious blow, 

And Peace soft gliding down the sky, 

Lead Love along, and Harmony, 

To-morrow the gay scene deforms : 70 

Then all around 

The thunder's sound 

Rolls rattling on through heaven's profound, 

And down rush all the storms. 

Ye days, that balmy influence shed, 

When sweet childhood, ever sprightly, 

In paths of pleasure sported lightly, 

Whither, ah whither are ye fled ? 

Ye cherub train, that brought him on his way, 

leave him not midst tumult and dismay ; 80 

For now youth's eminence he gains : 

But what a weary length of lingering toil remains I 



72 THE POEMS 



III. 1. 



They shrink, they vanish into air. 

Now Slander taints with pestilence the gale ; 

And mingling cries assail, 

The wail of Woe, and groan of grim Despair. 

Lo ! wizard Envy from his serpent eye 

Darts quick destruction in each baleful glance ; 

Pride smiling stern, and yellow Jealousy, 

Frowning Disdain, and haggard Hate advance ; 90 j 

Behold, amidst the dire array, 

Pale withered Care his giant-stature rears. 

And lo ! his iron hand prepares 

To grasp its feeble prey. 

III. 2. 

Who now will guard bewildered youth 

Safe from the fierce assault of hostile rage ? 

Such war can Virtue wage, 

Virtue, that bears the sacred shield of Truth ? 

Alas ! full oft on Guilt's victorious car, 

The spoils of Virtue are in triumph borne ; 100 

While the fair captive, marked with many a scar, 

In long obscurity, oppressed, forlorn, 

Resigns to tears her angel form. 

Ill-fated youth, then whither wilt thou fly ? 

No friend, no shelter now is nigh, 

And onward rolls the storm. 



OF BEATTIE. 73 



III. 3. 



But whence the sudden beam that shoots along ? 

Why shrink aghast the hostile throng ? 

Lo, from amidst affliction's night 

Hope bursts all radiant on the sight: no 

Her words the troubled bosom soothe. 

" Why thus dismayed ? 

Though foes invade, 

Hope ne'er is wanting to their aid, 

Who tread the path of truth. 

'Tis I, who smooth the rugged way, 

I, who close the eyes of Sorrow, 

And with glad visions of to-morrow 

Repair the weary soul's decay. 

When Death's cold touch thrills to the freezing 

heart, 12c 

Dreams of heaven's opening glories I impart, 
Till the freed spirit springs on high 
In rapture too severe for weak mortality." 



ODE ON LORD HAY'S BIRTH-DAY. 

MUSE, unskilled in venal praise, 
Unstained with flattery's art ; 
Who loves simplicity of lays 
Breathed ardent from the heart ; 
While gratitude and joy inspire, 
Resumes the long-unpractised lyre, 




74 THE POEMS 

To hail, Hat, thy natal morn : 

No gaudy wreath of flowers she weaves, 

But twines with oak the laurel leaves, 

Thy cradle to adorn. 10 

For not on beds of gaudy flowers 

Thine ancestors reclined, 

Where sloth dissolves, and spleen devours 

All energy of mind. 

To hurl the dart, to ride the car, 

To stem the deluges of war, 

And snatch from fate a sinking land ; 

Trample th' invader's lofty crest, 

And from his grasp the dagger wrest, 

And desolating brand : 20 

'Twas this that raised th' illustrious line 

To match the first in fame ! 

A thousand years have seen it shine 

With unabated flame ; 

Have seen thy mighty sires appear 

Foremost in glory's high career, 

The pride and pattern of the brave : 

Yet, pure from lust of blood their fire, 

And from ambition's wild desire, 

They triumphed but to save. 30 

The Muse with joy attends their way 
The vale of peace along ; 
There to its lord the village gay 



OF BEATTIE. 75 

Renews the grateful song. 

Yon castle's glittering towers contain 

No pit of woe, nor clanking chain, 

Nor to the suppliant's wail resound ; 

The open doors the needy bless, 

Th' unfriended hail their calm recess, 

And gladness smiles around. 40 

There to the sympathetic heart 

Life's best delights belong, 

To mitigate the mourner's smart, 

To guard the weak from wrong. 

Ye sons of luxury, be wise : 

Know, happiness for ever flies 

The cold and solitary breast ; 

Then let the social instinct glow, 

And learn to feel another's woe, 

And in his joy be blest. 50 

yet, ere Pleasure plant her snare 

For unsuspecting youth ; 

Ere Flattery her song prepare 

To check the voice of Truth ; 

may his country's guardian power 

Attend the slumbering infant's bower, 

And bright, inspiring dreams impart ; 

To rouse th' hereditary fire, 

To kindle each sublime desire, 

Exalt, and warm the heart. 00 



THE POEMS 

Swift to reward a parent's fears, 

A parent's hopes to crown, 

Roll on in peace, ye blooming years, 

That rear him to renown ; 

When in his finished form and face 

Admiring multitudes shall trace 

Each patrimonial charm combined, 

The courteous yet majestic mien, 

The liberal smile, the look serene, 

The great and gentle mind. 70 

Yet, though thou draw a nation's eyes, 

And win a nation's love, 

Let not thy towering mind despise 

The village and the grove. 

No slander there shall wound thy fame, 

No ruffian take his deadly aim, 

No rival weave the secret snare : 

For Innocenco with angel smile, 

Simplicity that knows no guile, 

And Love and Peace are there. so 

When winds the mountain oak assail, 
And lay its glories waste, 
Content may slumber in the vale, 
Unconscious of the blast. 
Through scenes of tumult while we roam, 
The heart, alas ! is ne'er at home, 
It hopes in time to roam no more ; 
The mariner, not vainly brave, 



OF BEATTIE. 77 

Combats the storm, and rides the wave, 

To rest at last on shore. 90 

Ye proud, ye selfish, ye severe, 

How vain your mask of state ! 

The good alone have joy sincere, 

The good alone are great : 

Great, when, amid the vale of peace, 

They bid the plaint of sorrow cease, 

And hear the voice of artless praise ; 

As when along the trophied plain 

Sublime they lead the victor train, 

While shouting nations gaze. 100 



THE BATTLE OF THE PIGMIES AND 
CRANES. 

FROM THE PYGM^O-GERANO-MACHIA OF ADDISON. 

"HE pigmy people, and the feathered 
train, 
Mingling in mortal combat on the plain, 
I sing. Ye Muses, favour my designs, 
Lead on my squadrons, and arrange the lines ; 
The flashing swords and fluttering wings display, 
And long bills nibbling in the bloody fray ; 
Cranes darting with disdain on tiny foes, 
Conflicting birds and men, and war's unnumbered 
woes. 
The wars and woes of heroes six feet long 




78 THE POEMS 

Have oft resounded in Pierian song. 10 

Who has not heard of Colchos' golden fleece, 
And Argo manned with all the flower of Greece ? 
Of Thebes' fell brethren, Theseus stern of face, 
And Peleus' son, unrivalled in the race ; 
iEneas, founder of the Roman line, 
And William, glorious on the banks of Boyne ? 
Who has not learned to weep at Pompey's woes, 
And over Blackmore's epic page to doze ? 
'Tis I, who dare attempt unusual strains, 
Of hosts unsung, and unfrequented plains ; 20 

The small shrill trump, and chiefs of little size, 
And armies rushing down the darkened skies. 

Where India reddens to the early dawn, 
Winds a deep vale from vulgar eye withdrawn : 
Bosomed in groves the lowly region lies, 
And rocky mountains round the border rise. 
Here, till the doom of fate its fall decreed, 
The empire flourished of the pigmy-breed ; 
Here Industry performed, and Genius planned, 
And busy multitudes o'erspread the land. 30 

But now to these lone bounds if pilgrim stray, 
Tempting through craggy cliffs the desperate way, 
He finds the puny mansion fallen to earth, 
Its godlings mouldering on th' abandoned hearth ; 
And starts, where small white bones are spread 

around, 
" Or little footsteps lightly print the ground ;" 
While the proud crane her nest securely builds, 
Chattering amid the desolated fields. 



OF BEATT1E. 79 

But different fates befell her hostile rage, 
While reigned, invincible through many an age, 
The 'dreaded pigmy : roused by war's alarms, 41 
Forth rushed the madding manikin to arms. 
Fierce to the field of death the hero flies ; 
The faint crane fluttering flaps the ground, and 

dies; 
And by the victor borne (o'erwhelming load !) 
With bloody bill loose-dangling marks the road. 
And oft the wily dwarf in ambush lay, 
And often made the callow young his prey ; 
With slaughtered victims heaped his board, and 

smiled, 
T' avenge the parent's trespass on the child. 50 
Oft, where his feathered foe had reared her nest, 
And laid her eggs and household gods to rest, 
Burning for blood, in terrible array, 
The eighteen-inch militia burst their way : 
All went to wreck ; the infant foeman fell, 
When scarce his chirping bill had broke the shell. 

Loud uproar hence, and rage of arms arose, 
And the fell rancour of encountering foes ; 
Hence dwarfs and cranes one general havoc whelms, 
And Death's grim visage scares the pigmy realms. 
Not half so furious blazed the warlike fire 6i 

Of mice, high theme of the Mseonian lyre ; 
When bold to battle marched the accout'red frogs, 
And the deep tumult thundered through the bogs. 
Pierced by the javelin bulrush on the shore 
Here agonizing rolled the mouse in gore ; 



80 THE POEMS 

And there the frog, (a scene full sad to see !) 
Shorn of one leg, slow sprawled along on three : 
He vaults no more with vigorous hops on high, 
But mourns in hoarsest croaks his destiny. 70 

And now the day of woe drew on apace, 
A day of woe to all the pigmy race, 
When dwarfs were doomed (but penitence was vain) 
To rue each broken egg, and chicken slain. 
For, roused to vengeance by repeated wrong, 
From distant climes the long-billed legions throng : 
From Strymon's lake, Cayster's plashy meads, 
And fens of Scythia, green with rustling reeds, 
From where the Danube winds through many a 

land, 
And Mareotis laves th' Egyptian strand, so 

To rendezvous they waft on eager wing, 
And wait assembled the returning spring. 
Meanwhile they trim their plumes for length of 

flight, 
Whet their keen beaks and twisting claws for fight ; 
Each crane the pigmy power in thought o'erturns, 
And every bosom for the battle burns. 

When genial gales the frozen air imbind, 
The screaming legions wheel, and mount the wind : 
Far in the sky they form their long array, 
And land and ocean stretched immense survey 90 
Deep deep beneath ; and, triumphing in pride, 
With clouds and winds commixed, innumerous 

ride ; 
'Tis wild obstreperous clangour all, and heaven 



OF BEATTIE. 81 

Whirls, in tempestuous undulation driven. 

Nor less th' alarm that shook the world below, 
Where marched in pomp of war th' embattled foe : 
Where manikins with haughty step advance, 
And grasp the shield, and couch the quivering 

lance : 
To right and left the lengthening lines they form, 
And ranked in deep array await the storm. loo 

High in the midst the chieftain-dwarf was seen, 
Of giant stature, and imperial mien : 
Full twenty inches tall, he strode along, 
And viewed with lofty eye the wondering throng ; 
And while with many a scar his visage frowned, 
Bared his broad bosom, rough with many a wound 
Of beaks and claws, disclosing to their sight 
The glorious meed of high heroic might : 
For with insatiate vengeance, he pursued, 
And never-ending hate, the feathery brood. no 
Unhappy they, confiding in the length 
Of horny beak, or talon's crooked strength, 
Who durst abide his rage ; the blade descends, 
And from the panting trunk the pinion rends : 
Laid low in dust the pinion waves no more, 
The trunk disfigured stiffens in its gore. 
What hosts of heroes fell beneath his force ! 
What heaps of chicken carnage marked his course ! 
How oft, Strymon, thy lone banks along, 
Did wailing Echo waft the funeral song ! 120 

And now from far the mingling clamours rise, 
Loud and more loud rebounding through the skies. 



82 THE POEMS 

From skirt to skirt of heaven, with stormy sway, 
A cloud rolls on, and darkens all the day. 
Near and more near descends the dreadful shade ; 
And now in battailous array displayed, 
On sounding wings, and screaming in their ire, 
The cranes rush onward, and the fight require. 
The pigmy warriors eye with fearless glare 
The host thick swarming o'er the burdened air ; 130 
Thick swarming now, but to their native land 
Doomed to return a scanty straggling band. — 
When sudden, darting down the depth of heaven, 
Fierce on th' expecting foe the cranes are driven, 
The kindling frenzy every bosoms warms, 
The region echoes to the crash of arms : 
Loose feathers from th' encountering armies fly, 
And in careering whirlwinds mount the sky. 
To breathe from toil upsprings the panting crane, 
Then with fresh vigour downward darts again. 140 
Success in equal balance hovering hangs. 
Here, on the sharp spear, mad with mortal pangs, 
The bird transfixed in bloody vortex whirls, 
Yet fierce in death the threatening talon curls ; 
There, while the life-blood bubbles from his wound, 
With little feet the pigmy beats the ground ; 
Deep from his breast the short short sob he draws, 
And dying curses the keen pointed claws. 
Trembles the thundering field, thick covered o'er 
With falchions, mangled wings, and streaming 

gore, 150 

And pigmy arms, and beaks of ample size, 



OF BEATTIE. 83 

And here a claw, and there a finger lies. 

Encompassed round with heaps of slaughtered 
foes, 
All grim in blood the pigmy champion glows, 
And on th' assailing host impetuous springs, 
Careless of nibbling bills, and flapping wings ; 
And midst the tumult, wheresoe'er he turns, 
The battle with redoubled fury burns. 
From every side th' avenging cranes amain 
Throng, to o'erwhelm this terror of the plain : 160 
When suddenly (for such the will of Jove) 
A fowl enormous, sousing from above, 
The gallant chieftain clutched, and, soaring high, 
(Sad chance of battle !) bore him up the sky. 
The cranes pursue, and, clustering in a ring, 
Chatter triumphant round the captive king. 
But ah ! what pangs each pigmy bosom wrung, 
When, now to cranes a prey, on talons hung, 
High in the clouds they saw their helpless lord, 
His wriggling form still lessening as he soared. 170 

Lo ! yet again,, with unabated rage. 
In mortal strife the mingling hosts engage. 
The crane with darted bill assaults the foe, 
Hovering ; then wheels aloft to scape the blow : 
The dwarf in anguish aims the vengeful wound ; 
But whirls in empty air the falchion round. 

Such was the scene, when midst the loud alarms 
Sublime th' eternal Thunderer rose in arms : 
When Briareus, by mad ambition driven, 
Heaved Pelion huge, and hurled it high at heaven. 



84 THE POEMS 

Jove rolled redoubling thunders from on high, isi 
Mountains and bolts encountered in the sky ; 
Till one stupendous ruin whelmed the crew, 
Their vast limbs weltering wide in brimstone blue. 

But now at length the pigmy legions yield, 
And winged with terror fly the fatal field. 
They raise a weak and melancholy wail, 
All in distraction scattering o'er the vale. 
Prone on their routed rear the cranes descend ; 
Their bills bite furious, and their talons rend : 190 
With unrelenting ire they urge the chase, 
Sworn to exterminate the hated race. 

'Twas thus the pigmy name, once great in war, 
For spoils of conquered cranes renowned afar, 
Perished. For, by the dread decree of Heaven, 
Short is the date to earthly grandeur given, 
And vain are all attempts to roam beyond 
Where fate has fixed the everlasting bound. 
Fall'n are the trophies of Assyrian power, 
And Persia's proud dominion is no more ; 200 

Yea, though to both superior far in fame, 
Thine empire, Latium, is an empty name ! 

And now with lofty chiefs of ancient time 
The pigmy heroes roam th' Elysian clime. 
Or, if belief to matron-tales be due, 
Full oft, in the belated shepherd's view, 
Their frisking forms, in gentle green arrayed, 
Gambol secure amid the moonlight glade. 
Secure, for no alarming cranes molest, 
And all their woes in long oblivion rest ; 210 



OF BEATTIE. 




Down the deep dale, and narrow winding way, 
They foot it featly, ranged in ringlets gay : 
'Tis joy and frolic all, where'er they rove, 
And Fairy-people is the name they love. 



THE HARES. 

A FABLE. 

ES, yes, I grant the sons of Earth 
Are doomed to trouble from their birth. 
We all of sorrow have our share ; 
But say, is yours without compare ? 

Look round the world ; perhaps you'll find 

Each individual of our kind 

Pressed with an equal load of ill, 

Equal at least. Look further still, 

And own your lamentable case 

Is little short of happiness. 10 

In yonder hut that stands alone 

Attend to Famine's feeble moan ; 

Or view the couch where Sickness lies, 

Mark his pale cheek, and languid eyes, 

His frame by strong convulsion torn, 

His struggling sighs, and looks forlorn. 

Or see, transfixt with keener pangs, 

Where o'er his hoard the miser hangs ; 

Whistles the wind; he starts, he stares, 



Ob THE POEMS 

Nor Slumber's balmy blessing shares ; 20 

Despair, Remorse, and Terror roll 
Their tempests on his harassed soul. 

But here perhaps it may avail 
T' enforce our reasoning with a tale. 

Mild was the morn, the sky serene, 
The jolly hunting band convene, 
The beagle's breast with ardour burns, 
The bounding steed the champaign spurns, 
And Fancy oft the game descries 
"Through the hound's nose, and huntsman's eyes. 

Just then, a council of the hares 31 

Had met, on national affairs. 
The chiefs were set ; while o'er their head 
The furze its frizzled covering spread. 
Long lists of grievances were heard, 
And general discontent appeared. 
" Our harmless race shall every savage 
Both quadruped and biped ravage ? 
Shall horses, hounds, and hunters still 
Unite their wits to work us ill? 40 

The youth, his parent's sole delight, 
Whose tooth the dewy lawns invite, 
Whose pulse in every vein beats strong, 
Whose limbs leap light the vales along, 
May yet ere noontide meet his death, 
And lie dismembered on the heath. 
For youth, alas, nor cautious age, 
Nor strength, nor speed, eludes their rage 
In every field we meet the foe, 






OF BEATTIE. 87 

Each gale comes fraught with sounds of woe ; 50 

The morning but awakes our fears, 

The evening sees us bathed in tears. 

But must we ever idly grieve, 

Nor strive our fortunes to relieve ? 

Small is each individual's force : 

To stratagem be our recourse ; 

And then, from all our tribes combined, 

The murderer to his cost may find 

No foes are weak, whom Justice arms, 

Whom Concord leads, and Hatred warms. co 

Be roused ; or liberty acquire, 

Or in the great attempt expire." 

He said no more, for in his breast 
Conflicting thoughts the voice suppressed : 
The fire of vengeance seemed to stream 
From his swoln eyeball's yellow gleam. 

And now the tumults of the war, 
Mingling confusedly from afar, 
Swell in the wind. Now louder cries 
Distinct of hounds and men arise. 70 

Forth from the brake, with beating heart, 
Th' assembled hares tumultuous start, 
And, every straining nerve on wing, 
Away precipitately spring. 
The hunting band, a signal given, 
Thick thundering o'er the plain are driven ; 
O'er cliff abrupt, and shrubby mound, 
And river broad, impetuous bound ; 
Now plunge amid the forest shades, 



88 THE POEMS 

Glance through the openings of the glades ; 80 

Now o'er the level valley sweep, 

Now with short steps strain up the steep ; 

While backward from the hunter's eyes 

The landscape like a torrent flies. 

At last an ancient wood they gained, 

By pruner's axe yet unprofaned. 

High o'er the rest, by Nature reared,^ 

The oak's majestic boughs appeared ; 

Beneath, a copse of various hue 

In barbarous luxuriance grew. 90 

No knife had curbed the rambling sprays, 

No hand had wove th' implicit maze. 

The flowering thorn, self-taught to wind, 

The hazel's stubborn stem entwined, 

And bramble twigs were wreathed around, 

And rough furze crept along the ground. 

Here sheltering, from the sons of murther, 

The hares their tired limbs drag no further. 

But lo ! the western wind ere long 
Was loud, and roared the woods among ; 100 

From rustling leaves, and crashing boughs 
The sound of woe and war arose. 
The hares distracted scour the grove, 
As terror and amazement drove ; 
But danger, wheresoe'er they fled, 
Still seemed impending o'er their head. 
Now crowded in a grotto's gloom, 
All hope extinct, they wait their doom. 
Dire was the silence, till, at length, 



OF BEATT1E. 89 

Even from despair deriving strength, no 

With bloody eye and furious look, 
A daring youth arose and spoke. 

" wretched race, the scorn of Fate, 
Whom ills of every sort await ! 
0, cursed with keenest sense to feel 
The sharpest sting of every ill ! 
Say ye, who, fraught with mighty scheme, 
Of liberty and vengeance dream, 
What now remains ? To what recess 
Shall we our weary steps address, 120 

Since Fate is evermore pursuing 
All ways and means to work our ruin ? 
Are we alone, of all beneath, 
Condemned to misery worse than death ? 
Must we, with fruitless labour, strive 
In misery worse than death to live ? 
No. Be the smaller ill our choice : 
So dictates Nature's powerful voice. 
Death's pang will in a moment cease ; 
And then, All hail, eternal peace ! " 130 

Thus while he spoke, his words impart 
The dire resolve to every heart. 

A distant lake in prospect lay, 
That, glittering in the solar ray, 
Gleamed through the dusky trees, and shot 
A trembling light along the grot. 
Thither with one consent they bend, 
Their sorrows with their lives to end, 
While each, in thought, already hears 



90 THE POEMS 

The water hissing in his ears. 140 

Fast by the margin of the lake, 
Concealed within a thorny brake, 
A linnet sate, whose careless lay 
Amused the solitary day. 
Careless he sung, for on his breast 
Sorrow no lasting trace impressed ; 
When suddenly he heard a sound 
Of swift feet traversing the ground. 
Quick to the neighbouring tree he flies, 
Thence trembling casts around his eyes ; 150 

No foe appeared, his fears were vain ; 
Pleased he renews the sprightly strain. 

The hares, whose noise had caus'd his fright, 
Saw with surprise the linnet's flight. 
" Is there on Earth a wretch," they said, 
" Whom our approach can strike with dread . " 
An instantaneous change of thought 
To tumult every bosom wrought. 

So fares the system-building sage, 
Who, plodding on from youth to age, ieo 

At last on some foundation-dream 
Has reared aloft his goodly scheme, 
And proved his predecessors fools, 
And bound all nature by his rules ; 
So fares he in that dreadful hour, 
When injured Truth exerts her power, 
Some new phenomenon to raise, 
Which, bursting on his frighted gaze, 
From its proud summit to the ground 






OF BEATT1E. 91 

Proves the whole edifice unsound. 170 

" Children," thus spoke a hare sedate, 
Who oft had known th' extremes of fate, 
" In slight events the docile mind 
May hints of good instruction find. 
That our condition is the worst, 
And we with such misfortunes curst 
As all comparison defy, 
Was late the universal cry ; 
When lo ! an accident so slight 
As yonder little linnet's flight iso 

Has made your stubborn hearts confess 
(So your amazement bids me guess) 
That all our load of woes and fears 
Is but a part of what he bears. 
Where can he rest secure from harms, 
Whom even a helpless hare alarms ? 
Yet he repines not at his lot, 
When past, the danger is forgot : 
On yonder bough he trims his wings, 
And with unusual rapture sings : i9o 

While we, less wretched, sink beneath 
Our lighter ills, and rush to death. 
No more of this unmeaning rage, 
But hear, my friends, the words of age : 
' When by the winds of autumn driven 
The scattered clouds fly 'cross the heaven, 
Oft have we, from some mountain's head, 
Beheld th' alternate light and shade 
Sweep the long vale. . Here, hovering, lowers 



92 THE POEMS 

The shadowy cloud ; there downward pours, 200 

Streaming direct, a flood of day, 

Which from the view flies swift away ; 

It flies, while other shades advance, 

And other streaks of sunshine glance. 

Thus chequered is the life below 

With gleams of joy and clouds of woe. 

Then hope not, while we journey on, 

Still to be basking in the sun : 

Nor fear, though now in shades ye mourn, 

That sunshine will no more return. 210 

If, by your terrors overcome, 

Ye fly before th' approaching gloom, 

The rapid clouds your flight pursue, 

And darkness still o'ercasts your view. 

Who longs to reach the radiant plain 

Must onward urge his course amain ; 

For doubly swift the shadow flies, 

When 'gainst the gale the pilgrim plies. 

At least be firm, and undismayed 

Maintain your ground ; the fleeting shade 220 

Ere long spontaneous glides away, 

And gives you back th' enlivening ray.' 

Lo, while I speak, our danger past ! 

No more the shrill horn's angry blast 

Howls in our ear ; the savage roar 

Of war and murder is no more. 

Then snatch the moment fate allows, 

Nor think of past or future woes." 

He spoke ; and hope revives ; the lake 



OF BEATTIE. 93 

That instant one and all forsake, 230 

In sweet amusement to employ 
The present sprightly hour of joy. 

Now from the western mountain's brow, 
Compassed with clouds of various glow, 
The Sun a broader orb displays, 
And shoots aslope his ruddy rays. 
The lawn assumes a fresher green, 
And dew-drops spangle all the scene ; 
The balmy zephyr breathes along, 
The shepherd sings his tender song, 240 

With all their lays the groves resound, 
And falling waters murmur round. 
Discord and care were put to flight, 
And all was peace, and calm delight. 



EPITAPH: 

BEING PAET OF AN INSCRIPTION DESIGNED FOE A 

MONUMENT EEECTED BY A GENTLEMAN 

TO THE MEMOEY OF HIS LADY. 

AREWELL! my best-beloved; whose 
heavenly mind 
Genius with virtue, strength with soft- 
ness joined ; 
Devotion, un debased by pride or art, 




94 THE POEMS 

With meek simplicity, and joy of heart ; 
Though sprightly, gentle; though polite, sincere 
And only of thyself a judge severe ; 
Unblamed, unequalled in each sphere of life, 
The tenderest daughter, sister, parent, wife. 
In thee their patroness th' afflicted lost ; 
Thy friends, their pattern, ornament, and boast; 
And I — but ah, can words my loss declare, 
Or paint th' extremes of transport and despair ! 
thou, beyond what verse or speech can tell, — 
My guide, my friend, my best beloved, farewell ! 



THE HERMIT. 

(T the close of the day, when the hamlet 

is still, 
And mortals the sweets of forgetful- 

ness prove, 

When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill, 
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove : 
'Twas thus, by the cave of the mountain afar, 
While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began ; 
No more with himself or with nature at war, 
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man. 

"Ah ! why, all aband <ned :o darkness and woe, 
Why, lone Philomela, that languishing fall ? 10 
For spring shall return, and a lover bestow, 
And sorrow no longer thy bosom enthrall. 




OF BEATTIE. 95 

But if pity inspire thee, renew the sad lay, 
Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to 
mourn ; 

soothe him. whose pleasures like thine pass 

away : 
Full quickly they pass — but they never return. 

" Now gliding remote, on the verge of the sky, 
The Moon half-extinguished her crescent displays : 
But lately I marked, when majestic on high 19 
She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze. 
Roll on, thou fair orb, and with gladness pursue 
The path that conducts thee to splendour again : 
But man's faded glory what change shall renew ? 
Ah, fool ! to exult in a glory so vain ! 

" 'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more : 

1 mourn, but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you ; 
For morn is approaching, your charms to restore, 
Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with 

dew ; 
Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn ; 
Kind Nature the embryo blossom will save : 30 
But when shall spring visit the mouldering urn ? 
when shall it dawn on the night of the grave ?" 

" 'Twas thus, by the glare of false science betrayed, 
That leads, to bewilder, and dazzles, to blind, 
My thoughts wont to roam, from shade onward t<i 
shade, 



96 THE POEMS OF BEATTIE. 

Destruction before me, and sorrow behind. 
' pity, great Father of light,' then I cried, 
' Thy creature, who fain would not wander from 

Thee; 
Lo, humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride : 
From doubt and from darkness Thou only canst 

free.' 40 

" And darkness and doubt are now flying away ; 
No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn. 
So breaks on the traveller, faint, and astray, 
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn. 
See Truth, Love, and Mercy, in triumph descending, 
And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom ! 
On the cold cheek of Death smiles and roses are 

blending, 
And Beauty immortal awakes from the tomb." 




PIECES REJECTED BY THE AUTHOR 

FROM THE LATER EDITIONS 

OF HIS POEMS. 



MStiM 



THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS. 



AR in the depth of Ida's inmost grove, 
A scene for love and solitude de- 




Where flowery woodbines, wild by Na- 
ture wove, 
Formed the lone bower, the royal swain reclined. 

All up the craggy cliffs, that towered to heaven, 
Green waved the murmuring pines on every side ; 

Save where, fair opening to the beam of even, 
A dale sloped gradual to the valley wide. 

Echoed the vale with many a cheerful note ; 

The lowing of the herds resounding long, 10 
The shrilling pipe, and mellow horn remote, 

And social clamours of the festive throng. 

For now, low hovering o'er the western main, 
Where amber clouds begirt his dazzling throne, 

The sun with ruddier verdure decked the plain, 
And lakes, and streams, and spires triumphal 
shone. 



100 THE POEMS 

And many a band of ardent youths were seen ; 

Some into rapture fired by glory's charms, 
Or hurled the thundering car along the green, 

Or marched embattled on in glittering arms. 2c 

Others more mild, in happy leisure gay, 
The darkening forest's lonely gloom explore, 

Or by Scamander's flowery margin stray, 
Or the blue Hellespont's resounding shore. 

But chief the eye to Ilion's glories turned, 

That gleamed along th' extended champaign far, , 

And bulwarks, in terrific pomp adorned, 

Where Peace sat smiling at the frowns of War. 

Rich in the spoils of many a subject-clime, 

In pride luxurious blazed th' imperial dome ; 30 

Towered 'mid th' encircling grove the fane sublime, 
And dread memorials marked the hero's tomb, 

Who from the black and bloody cavern led 
The savage stern, and soothed his boisterous 
breast ; 

Who spoke, and Science reared her radiant head, 
And brightened o'er the long benighted waste ; 

Or, greatly daring in his country's cause, 

Whose heaven-taught soul the awful plan de- I 
signed, 



OF BEATTIE. 101 

Whence Power stood trembling at the voice of laws, 

Whence soared on Freedom's wing th' ethereal 

mind. 40 

But not the pomp that royalty displays, 
Nor all the imperial pride of lofty Troy, 

Nor Virtue's triumph of immortal praise, 

Could rouse the languor of the lingering boy. 

Abandoned all to soft Enone's charms, 
He to oblivion doomed the listless day ; 

Inglorious lulled in Love's dissolving arms, 

While flutes lascivious breathed th' enfeebling 
lay. 

To trim the ringlets of his scented hair, 

To aim, insidious, Love's bewitching glance, 

Or cull fresh garlands for the gaudy fair, 51 

Or wanton loose in the voluptuous dance ; 

These were his arts ; these won Enone's love, 
Nor sought his fettered soul a nobler aim. 

Ah, why should beauty's smile those arts approve, 
Which taint with infamy the lover's flame ? 

Now laid at large beside a murmuring spring, 
Melting he listened to the vernal song, 

And Echo, listening, waved her airy wing, 

While the deep winding dales the lays prolong. 

When, slowly floating down the azure skies 61 
A crimson cloud flashed on his startled sight ; 



102 THE POEMS 

Whose skirts gay-sparkling with unnumbered dyes 
Launched the long billowy trails of flickering 
light. 

That instant, hushed was all the vocal grove, 
Hushed was the gale, and every ruder sound, 

And strains aerial, warbling far above, 
Rung in the ear a magic peal profound. 

Near, and more near, the swimming radiance rolled; 

Along the mountains stream the lingering fires, 
Sublime the groves of Ida blaze with gold, 71 

And all the heaven resounds with louder lyres. 

The trumpet breathed a note : and all in air 
The glories vanished from the dazzled eye ; 

And three ethereal forms, divinely fair, 

Down the steep glade were seen advancing nigh, 

The flowering glade fell level where they moved, 
O'erarching high the clustering roses hung, 

And gales from heaven on balmy pinion roved, 
And hill and dale with gratulation rung. si 

The first with slow and stately step drew near, 
Fixed was her lofty eye, erect her mien : 

Sublime in grace, in majesty severe, 

She looked and moved a goddess and a queen. 

Her robe along the gale profusely streamed, 
Light leaned the sceptre on her bending arm ; 



OF BEATTIE. 103 

And round her brow a starry circlet gleamed, 
Heightening the pride of each commanding 
charm. 

Milder the next came on with artless grace, 
And on a javelin's quivering length reclined : 90 

T' exalt her mien she bade no splendour blaze, 
Nor pomp of vesture fluctuate on the wind. 

Serene, though awful, on her brow the light 
Of heavenly wisdom shone ; nor roved her eyes, 

Save to the shadowy cliff's majestic height, 
Or the blue concave of th' involving skies. 

Keen were her eyes to search the inmost soul ; 

Yet Virtue triumphed in their beams benign, 
And impious Pride oft felt their dread control, 

When infierce lightning flashed the wrath divine. 1 

With awe and wonder gazed th' adoring swain ; 101 
His kindling cheeks great Virtue's power con- 
fessed ; 
But soon 'twas o'er ; for Virtue prompts in vain, 
When Pleasure's influence numbs the nerveless 
breast. 

And now advanced the queen of melting joy, 
Smiling supreme in unresisted charms. 

1 This is agreeable to the theology of Homer, who often 
represents Pallas as the executioner of divine vengeance- 



104 THE POEMS 

Ah then, what transports fired the trembling boy ! 
How throbbed his sickening frame with fierce 
akrms ! 

Her eyes in liquid light luxurious swim, 

And languish with unutterable love : 1 10 

Heaven's warm bloom glows along each brightening 
limb, 
Where fluttering bland the veil's thin mantlings 



Quick, blushing as abashed, she half withdrew : 
One hand a bough of flowering myrtle waved, 

One graceful spread, where, scarce concealed from 
view, 
Soft through the parting robe her bosom heaved. 

" Offspring of Jove supreme ! beloved of Heaven ! 

Attend." Thus spoke the empress of the skies. 
" For know, to thee, high-fated prince, 'tis given 

Through the bright realms of Fame sublime to 
rise, 120 

" Beyond man's boldest hope ; if nor the wiles 
Of Pallas triumph o'er th' ennobling thought ; 

Nor Pleasure lure with artificial smiles 

To quaff the poison of her luscious draught. 

" When Juno's charms the prize of beauty claim, 
Shall aught on Earth, shall aught in Heaven 
contend ? 



OF BEATTIE. 105 

Whom Juno calls to high triumphant fame, 
Shall he to meaner sway inglorious bend ? 

" Yet lingering comfortless in lonesome wild, 
Where Echo sleeps 'mid caverned vales profound, 

The pride of Troy, Dominion's darling child, m 
Pines while the slow hour stalks its sullen round. 

" Hear thou, of Heaven unconscious ! From the 
blaze 

Of glory, streamed from Jove's eternal throne, 
Thy soul, mortal, caught th' inspiring rays 

That to a god exalt earth's raptured son. 

" Hence the bold wish, on boundless pinion borne, 
That fires, alarms, impels the maddening soul ; 

The hero's eye, hence, kindling into scorn, 

Blasts the proud menace, and defies control. 140 

" But, unimproved, Heaven's noblest boons are vain: 
No sun with plenty crowns th' uncultured vale ; 

Where green lakes languish on the silent plain, 
Death rides the billows of the western gale. 

I Deep in yon mountain's womb, where the dark 
cave 

Howls to the torrent's everlasting roar, 
Does the rich gem its flashy radiance wave ? 

Or flames with steady ray th' imperial ore ? 

I Toil decked with glittering domes yon champaign 
wide, 149 



106 THE POEMS 

And wakes yon grove- embosomed lawns to joy, 

And rends the rough ore from the mountain's side, 

Spangling with starry pomp the thrones of Troy. 

" Fly these soft scenes. Even now, with playful art, 
Love wreathes thy flowery ways with fatal snare. 

And nurse th' ethereal fire that warms thy heart, 
That fire ethereal lives but by thy care. 

" Lo, hovering near on dark and dampy wing, 
Sloth with stern patience waits the hour assigned, 

From her chill plume the deadly dews to fling, 
That quench Heaven's beam, and freeze the 
cheerless mind. 160 

" Vain, then, th' enlivening sound of Fame's alarms, 
For Hope's exulting impulse prompts no more ; 

Vain even the joys that lure to Pleasure's arms, 
The throb of transport is for ever o'er. 

" who shall then to Fancy's darkening eyes 
Recall th' Elysian dreams of joy and light? 

Dim through the gloom the formless visions rise, 
Snatched instantaneous down the gulf of night. 

" Thou, who securely lulled in youth's warm ray, 
Mark'st not the desolations wrought by Time, 

Be roused or perish. Ardent for its prey 171 

Speeds the fell hour that ravages thy prime. 

"And, midst the horrors shrined of midnight storm, 
The fiend Oblivion eyes thee from afar, 









OF BEATTIE. 107 

Black with intolerable frowns her form, 

Beckoning th' embattled whirlwinds into war. 

" Fanes, bulwarks, mountains, worlds, their tempest 
whelms : 

Yet Glory braves unmoved th' impetuous sweep. 
Fly then, ere hurled from life's delightful realms, 179 

Thou sink to Oblivion's dark and boundless deep. 

" Fly then, where Glory points the path sublime : 
See her crown dazzling with eternal light ! 

'Tis Juno prompts thy daring steps to climb, 
And girds thy bounding heart with matchless 
might. 

" Warm in the raptures of divine desire, 

Burst the soft chain that curbs th' aspiring mind ; 

And fly, where Victory, borne on wings of fire, 
Waves her red banner to the rattling wind. 

" Ascend the car. Indulge the pride ©f arms, 
Where clarions roll their kindling strains on high, 

Where the eye maddens to the dread alarms, 191 
And the long shout tumultuous rends the sky. 

" Plunged in the uproar of the thundering field 
I see thy lofty arm the tempest guide ; 

Fate scatters lightning from thy meteor-shield, 
And Ruin spreads around the sanguine tide. 

" Go, urge the terrors of thy headlong car 

On prostrate Pride, and Grandeur's spoils o'e*- 
thrown, 



108 THE POEMS 

While all amazed even heroes shrink afar, 

And hosts embattled vanish at thy frown. 200 

" When glory crowns thy godlike toils, and all 
The triumph's lengthening pomp exalts thy soul, 

When lowly at thy feet the mighty fall, 
And tyrants tremble at thy stern control ; 

" When conquering millions hail thy sovereign 
might, 

And tribes unknown dread acclamation join ; 
How wilt thou spurn the forms of low delight ! 

For all the ecstasies of heaven are thine : 

" For thine the joys, that fear no length of days, 

Whose wide effulgence scorns all mortal bound : 
Fame's trump in thunder shall announce thy 

praise, 211 

Nor bursting worlds her clarion's blast con- 
found." 

The goddess ceased, not dubious of the prize : 
Elate she marked his wild and rolling eye, 

Marked his lip quiver, and his bosom rise, 

And his warm cheek suffused with crimson dye. 

But Pallas now drew near. Sublime, serene 
In conscious dignity, she viewed the swain ; 

Then, love and pity softening all her mien, 
Thus breathed with accents mild the solemn 

strain. 220 



OF BEATTIE. 109 

" Let those, whose arts to fatal paths betray, 
The soul with passion's gloom tempestuous blind. 

And snatch from Reason's ken th' auspicious ray 
Truth darts from Heaven to guide th' exploring 
mind. 

" But Wisdom loves the calm and serious hour. 

When Heaven's pure emanation beams con- 
fessed : 
Rage, ecstasy, alike disclaim her power, 

She wooes each gentler impulse of the breast. 

" Sincere th' unaltered bliss her charms impart, 
Sedate th' enlivening ardours they inspire : 230 

She bids no transient rapture thrill the heart, 
She wakes no feverish gust of fierce desire. 

" Unwise, who, tossing on the watery way, 
All to the storm th' unfettered sail devolve : 

Man more unwise resigns the mental sway, 
Borne headlong on by passion's keen resolve. 

" While storms remote but murmur on thine ear, 
Nor waves in ruinous uproar round thee roll, 

Yet, yet a moment check thy prone career, 239 
And curb the keen resolve that prompts thy soul. 

" Explore thy heart, that, roused by Glory's name, 
Pants all enraptured with the mighty charm — 

And, does Ambition quench each milder flame ? 
And is it conquest that alone can warm ? 



110 THE POEMS 

" T' indulge fell Rapine's desolating lust, 

To drench the balmy lawn in streaming gore. 

To spurn the hero's cold and silent dust — 
Are these thy joys ? Nor throbs thy heart for 
more ? 

" Pleased canst thou listen to the patriot's groan, 
And the wild wail of Innocence forlorn ? 250 

And hear th' abandoned maid's last frantic moan, 
Her love for ever from her bosom torn ? 

" Nor wilt thou shrink, when Virtue's fainting breath 
Pours the dread curse of vengeance on thy head ? 

Nor when the pale ghost bursts the cave of death, 
To glare distraction on thy midnight bed ? 

" Was it for this, though born to regal power, 
Kind Heaven to thee did nobler gifts consign, 

Bade Fancy's influence gild thy natal hour, 

And bade Philanthropy's applause be thine ? 260 

" Theirs be the dreadful glory to destroy, 

And theirs the pride of pomp, and praise suborned. 

Whose eye ne'er lightened at the smile of Joy, 
Whose cheek the tear of Pity ne'er adorned ; 

" Whose soul, each finer sense instinctive quelled, 
The lyre's mellifluous ravishment defies ; 

Nor marks where Beauty roves the flowery field, 
Or Grandeur's pinion sweeps th' unbounded skies. 



OF BEATTIE. Ill 

" Hail to sweet Fancy's unexpressive charm ! 

Hail to the pure delights of social love ! 270 

Hail, pleasures mild, that fire not while ye warm, 

Nor rack th' exulting frame, but gently move ! 

" But fancy soothes no more, if stern Remorse 
With iron grasp the tortured bosom wring. 

Ah then, even Fancy speeds the venom's course, 
Even Fancy points with rage the maddening 
sting ! 

" Her wrath a thousand gnashing fiends attend, 
And roll the snakes, and toss the brands of hell : 

The beam of Beauty blasts; -dark Heavens impend 
Tottering ; and Music thrills with startling yell. 

" What then avails, that with exhaustless store 2si 
Obsequious Luxury loads thy glittering shrine ? 

What then avails, that prostrate slaves adore, 
And Fame proclaims thee matchless and divine ? 

" What though bland Flattery all her arts apply ? — 
Will these avail to calm th' infuriate brain ? 

Or will the roaring surge, when heaved on high, 
Headlong hang, hushed, to hear the piping swain ? 

" In health how fair, how ghastly in decay 
Man's lofty form ! how heavenly fair the mind 

Sublimed by Virtue's sweet enlivening sway ! 291 
But ah ! to guilt's outrageous rule resigned, 



112 THE POEMS 

" How hideous and forlorn ! when ruthless Care 
With cankering tooth corrodes the seeds of lift,, 

And deaf with passion's storms when pines Despair, 
And howling furies rouse th' eternal strife. 

" 0, by thy hopes of joy that restless glow, 
Pledges of Heaven ! be taught by Wisdom's lore : 

With anxious haste each doubtful path forego, 
And life's wild ways with cautious fear explore. 

" Straight be thy course ; nor tempt the maze that 
leads 301 

Where fell Remorse his shapeless strength con- 
ceals : 
And oft Ambition's dizzy cliff he treads, 

And slumbers oft in Pleasure's flowery vales. 

" Nor linger unresolved : Heaven prompts the choice; 

Save when Presumption shuts the ear of Pride : 
With grateful awe attend to Nature's voice, 

The voice of Nature Heaven ordained thy guide. 

•' Warned by her voice the arduous path pursue, 
That leads to Virtue's fane a hardy band. 310 

What, though no gaudy scenes decoy their view, 
Nor clouds of fragrance roll along the land ? 



What, though rude mountains heave the flinty 

way? 
Yet there the soul drinks light and life divine, 



OF BEATTIE. 113 

And pure aerial gales of gladness play, 
Brace every nerve, and every sense refine. 

I Go, prince, be virtuous and be blest. The throne 
Rears not its state to swell the couch of Lust ; 

Nor dignify Corruption's daring son, 

T' o'erwhelm his humbler brethren of the dust. 

" But yield an ampler scene to Bounty's eye, 321 
An ampler range to Mercy's ear expand ; 

And 'midst admiring nations, set on high 

Virtue's fair model, framed by Wisdom's hand. 

" Go then : the moan of Woe demands thine aid ; 

Pride's licensed outrage claims thy slumbering ire ; 
Pale Genius roams the bleak neglected shade, 

And battening Avarice mocks his tuneless lyre. 

" Even Nature pines, by vilest chains opprest ; 

Th' astonished kingdoms crouch to Fashion's nod. 
ye pure inmates of the gentle breast, 331 

Truth, Freedom, Love, where is your abode ? 

1 yet once more shall Peace from heaven return, 
And young Simplicity with mortals dwell ! 

Nor Innocence th' august pavilion scorn, 
Nor meek Contentment fly the humble cell ! 

"Wilt thou, my prince, the beauteous train implore, 
Midst earth's forsaken scenes once more to bide ? 



114 THE POEMS 

Then shall the shepherd sing in every bower, 
And Love with garlands wreathe the domes of 
Pride. 340 

" The bright tear starting in th' impassioned eyes 
Of silent gratitude ; the smiling gaze 

Of gratulation, faltering while he tries 

With voice of transport to proclaim thy praise ; 

" Th' ethereal glow that stimulates thy frame, 
When all th' according powers harmonious move, 

And wake to energy each social aim, 

Attuned spontaneous to the will of Jove ; 

" Be these, man, the triumphs of thy soul ; 

And all the conqueror's dazzling glories slight, 
That meteor-like o'er trembling nations roll, 351 

To sink at once in deep and dreadful night. 

" Like thine, yon orb's stupendous glories burn 
With genial beam ; nor, at th' approach of even, 

In shades of horror leave the world to mourn, 
But gild with lingering light th' empurpled 
heaven." 

Thus while she spoke, her eye, sedately meek, 
Looked the pure fervour of maternal love. 

No rival zeal intemperate flushed her cheek — 
Can Beauty's boast the soul of Wisdom move ? 

Worth's noble pride, can Envy's leer appal, 36] 
Or staring Folly's vain applauses soothe ? 



OF BEATTIE. 115 

Can jealous Fear Truth's dauntless heart enthral ? 
Suspicion lurks not in the heart of Truth. 

And now the shepherd raised his pensive head : 
Yet unresolved and fearful roved his eyes, 

Scared at the glances of the awful maid ; 

For young unpractised guilt distrusts the guise 

Of shameless Arrogance. His wavering breast, 
Though warmed by Wisdom, owned no constant 
fire ; 370 

While lawless Fancy roamed afar, unblest 
Save in th' oblivious lap of soft Desire. 

When thus the queen of soul-dissolving smiles. 

" Let gentler fate my darling prince attend : 
Joyless and cruel are the warrior's spoils, 

Dreary the path stern Virtue's sons ascend. 

I Of human joy full short is the career, 

And the dread verge still gains upon your sight : 

While idly gazing, far beyond your sphere, 

Ye scan the dream of unapproached delight ; 380 

" Till every sprightly hour and blooming scene 
Of life's gay morn unheeded glides away, 

And clouds of tempests mount the blue serene, 
And storm and ruin close the troublous day. 

" Then still exult to hail the present joy, 

Thine be the boon that comes unearned by toil ; 



116 THE POEMS 

No froward vain desire thy bliss annoy, 

No flattering hope thy longing hours beguile. 

" Ah ! why should man pursue the charms of Fame, 
For ever luring, yet for ever coy ? 390 

Light as the gaudy rainbow's pillared gleam, 
That melts illusive from the wondering boy ! 



" What though her throne irradiate many a clime 
If hung loose-tottering o'er th' unfathomed tomb ? 

What though her mighty clarion, reared sublime, 
Display the imperial wreath and glittering plume? 

" Can glittering plume, or can the imperial wreath 
Redeem from unrelenting fate the brave ? 

What note of triumph can her clarion breathe, 
T' alarm th' eternal midnight of the grave ? 400 

" That night draws on : nor will the vacant hour 

Of expectation linger as it flies ; 
Nor Fate one moment unenjoyed restore : 

Each moment's flight how precious to the wise ! 

" shun th' annoyance of the bustling throng, 
That haunt with zealous turbulence the great ; 

There coward Office boasts th' unpunished wrong, 
And sneaks secure in insolence of state. 

" O'er fancied injury Suspicion pines, 

And in grim silence gnaws the festering wound ; 



: 



OF BEATT1E. 117 

Deceit the rage- embittered smile refines, 411 

And Censure spreads the viperous hiss around., 

" Hope not, fond prince, though Wisdom guard 
thy throne, 
Though Truth and Bounty prompt each gene- 
rous aim, 
Though thine the palm of peace, the victor's crown, 
The Muse's rapture, and the patriot's flame : 

" Hope not, though all that captivates the wise, 
All that endears the good exalt thy praise ; 

Hope not to taste repose ; for Envy's eyes 

At fairest worth still point their deadly rays. 420 

" Envy, stern tyrant of the flinty heart, 

Can aught of Virtue, Truth, or Beauty charm ? 

Can soft Compassion thrill with pleasing smart, 
Repentance melt, or Gratitude disarm ? 

f Ah no. Where Winter Scythia's waste enchains, 
And monstrous shapes roar to the ruthless storm, 

Not Phoebus' smile can cheer the dreadful plains, 
Or soil accursed with balmy life inform. 

r Then, Envy, then is thy triumphant hour, 
When mourns Benevolence his baffled scheme \ 

When Insult mocks the clemency of Power, 4.31 
And loud Dissension's livid firebrands gleam ; 



118 THE POEMS 

" When squint-eyed Slander plies th' unhallowed 
tongue, 
From poisoned maw when Treason weaves his 
line, 
And Muse apostate (infamy to song !) 

Grovels, low-muttering, at Sedition's shrine. 

" Let not my prince forego the peaceful shade, 
The whispering grove, the fountain, and the 
plain : 

Power, with th' oppressive weight of pomp arrayed, 
Pants for simplicity and ease in vain. 440 

" The yell of frantic Mirth may stun his ear, 
But frantic Mirth soon leaves the heart forlorn ; 

And Pleasure flies that high tempestuous sphere ; 
Far different scenes her lucid paths adorn. 

" She loves to wander on th' untrodden lawn, 
Or the green bosom of reclining hill, 

Soothed by the careless warbler of the dawn, 
Or the lone plaint of ever-murmuring rill. 

" Or from the mountain-glade's aerial brow, 
While to her song a thousand echoes call, 450 

Marks the wide woodland wave remote below, 
Where shepherds pipe unseen, and waters fall. 

" Her influence oft the festive hamlet proves, 
Where the high carol cheers th' exulting ring ; 



OF BEATTIE. 119 

And oft she roams the maze of wildering groves, 
Listening th' unnumbered melodies of spring. 

" Or to the long and lonely shore retires ; 

What time, loose-glimmering to the lunar beam, 
Faint heaves the slumberous wave, and starry fires 

Gild the blue deep with many a lengthening 
gleam. 460 

" Then, to the balmy bower of Rapture borne, 
While strings self- warbling breathe Elysian rest, 

Melts in delicious vision, till the morn 

Spangle with twinkling dew the flowery waste. 

" The frolic Moments, purple-pinioned, dance 
Around, and scatter roses as they play : 

And the blithe Graces, hand in hand, advance, 
Where, with her loved compeers, she deigns to 
stray ; 

" Mild Solitude, in veil of russet dye, 

Her sylvan spear with moss-grown ivy bound ; 

And Indolence, with sweetly languid eye, 471 

And zoneless robe that trails along the ground ; 

" But chiefly Love — thou, whose gentle mind 
Each soft indulgence Nature framed to share ; 

Pomp, wealth, renown, dominion, all resigned, 
haste to Pleasure's bower, for Love is there ! 

" Love, the desire of Gods ! the feast of Heaven ! 
Yet to Earth's favoured offspring not denied I 



120 THE POEMS 

Ah, let not thankless man the blessing given 
Enslave to Fame, or sacrifice to Pride ! 4$o 

" Nor I from Virtue's call decoy thine ear ; 

Friendly to Pleasure are her sacred laws. 
Let Temperance' smile the cup of gladness cheer ; 

That cup is death, if he withhold applause. 

" Far from thy haunt be Envy's baneful sway. 
And Hate, that works the harassed soul to storm : 

But woo Content to breathe her soothing lay, 
And charm from Fancy's view each angry form. 

" No savage joy th' harmonious hours profane ! 

Whom Love refines, can barbarous tumult 
please ? 490 

Shall rage of blood pollute the sylvan reign ? 

Shall Leisure wanton in the spoils of Peace ? 

" Free let the feathery race indulge the song, 
Inhale the liberal beam, and melt in love : 

Free let the fleet hind bound her hills along, 
And in pure streams the watery nations rove. 

" To joy in Nature's universal smile 

Well suits, man, thy pleasurable sphere ; 

But why should Virtue doom thy years to toil ? 
Ah, why should Virtue's law be deemed severe ? 

" What meed, Beneficence, thy care repays ? 501 
What, Sympathy, thy still returning pang ? 



OF BEATT1E. 121 

And why his generous arm should Justice raise, 
To dare the vengeance of a tyrant's fang ? 

" From thankless spite no bounty can secure ; 

Or froward wish of discontent fulfil, 
That knows not to regret thy bounded power, 

But blames with keen reproach thy partial will. 

" To check th' impetuous all-involving tide 

Of human woes, how impotent thy strife ! 5U 

High o'er thy mounds devouring surges ride, 
Nor reck thy baffled toils, or lavished life. 

" The bower of bliss, the smile of love be thine, 
Unlaboured ease, and leisure's careless dream. 

Such be their joys, who bend at Venus' shrine, 
And own her charms beyond compare supreme." 

Warmed as she spoke, all panting with delight, 
Her kindling beauties breathed triumphant 
bloom ; 

And Cupids fluttered round in circlets bright, 
And Flora poured from all her stores perfume. 

" Thine be the prize," exclaimed th' enraptured 
youth, 521 

" Queen of unrivalled charms, and matchless 

joy."- 

blind to fate, felicity, and truth ! — 

But such are they whom Pleasure's snares decoy. 



122 THE POEMS 

The Sun was sunk ; the vision was no more : 
Night downward rushed tempestuous, at the 
frown 

Of Jove's awakened wrath ; deep thunders roar, 
The forests howl afar, and mountains groan, 

And sanguine meteors glare athwart the plain: 529, 
With horror's scream the Ilian towers resound ; 

Raves the hoarse storm along the bellowing main, 
And the strong earthquake rends the shudder- 
ing ground. 



ODE TO PEACE. 



1. 1. 




EACE, heaven-descended maid ! whose 
powerful voice 
From ancient darkness called the morn j 
And hushed of jarring elements the noise ; 
When Chaos, from his old dominion torn, 
With all his bellowing throng, 
Far, far was hurled the void abyss along ; 
And all the bright angelic choir 
Striking through all their ranks th' eternal lyre, 
Poured in loud symphony th' impetuous strain j 



OF BEATTIE. 123 

And every fiery orb and planet sung, 10 

And wide, through night's dark solitary reign 
Rebounding long and deep the lays triumphant 
rung. 

I. 2. 

Oh whither art thou fled, Saturnian age ? 

Roll round again, majestic years ! 

To break the sceptre of tyrannic rage, 

From Woe's wan cheek to wipe the bitter tears, 

Ye years, again roll round ! 

Hark, from afar what desolating sound, 

While echoes load the sighing gales, 

With dire presage the throbbing heart assails ! 

Murder deep-roused, with all the whirlwind's 

haste 21 

And roar of tempest, from her cavern springs, 
Her tangled serpents girds around her waist, 
Smiles ghastly-fierce, and shakes her gore-distil- 
ling wings. 

I. 3. 

The shouts redoubling rise 

In thunder to the skies. 

The Nymphs disordered dart along, 

Sweet powers of solitude and song, 

Stunned with the horrors of discordant sound ; 

And all is listening trembling round. 30 

Torrents far heard amid the waste of night 

That oft have led the wanderer right, 



124 THE POEMS 

Are silent at the noise. 
The mighty ocean's more majestic voice 
Drowned in superior din is heard no more ; 
The surge in silence seems to sweep the foamy shore 

ii. 1. 

The bloody banner streaming in the air 
Seen on yon sky-mixed mountain's brow. 
The mingling multitudes, the madding car, 
Driven in confusion to the plain below, 40 

War's dreadful lord proclaim. 
Bursts out by frequent fits th' expansive flame. 
Snatched in tempestuous eddies flies 
The surging smoke o'er all the darkened skies. 
The cheerful face of heaven no more is seen, 
The bloom of morning fades to deadly pale, 
The bat flits transient o'er the dusky green, 
And night's foul birds along the sullen twilight sail. 

II. 2. 

Involved in fire-streaked gloom the car comes on. 
The rushing steeds grim Terror guides. so 

His forehead writhed to a relentless frown, 
Aloft the angry Power of Battles rides : 
Grasped in his mighty hand 
A mace tremendous desolates the land ; 
The tower rolls headlong down the steep, 
The mountain shrinks before its wasteful sweep: 
Chill horror the dissolving limbs invades ; 






OF BEATTIE. 125 

Smit by the blasting lightning of his eyes, 
A deeper gloom invests the howling shades, 
Stript is the shattered grove, and every verdure 
dies. ec 

II. 3. 

How startled Frenzy stares, 
Bristling her ragged hairs ! 
Revenge the gory fragment gnaws ; 
See, with her griping vulture-claws 
Imprinted deep, she rends the mangled wound ! 
Hate whirls her torch sulphureous round ; 
The shrieks of agony, and clang of arms, 
Re-echo to the hoarse alarms 
Her trump terrific blows. 
Disparting from behind, the clouds disclose 70 
Of kingly gesture a gigantic form, 
That with his scourge sublime rules the careering 
storm. 

in. 1. 

Ambition, outside fair ! within as foul 

As fiends of fiercest heart below, 

Who ride the hurricanes of fire that roll 

Their thundering vortex o'er the realms oi woe, 

Yon naked waste survey ; 

Where late was heard the flute's mellifluous lay ; 

Where late the rosy-bosomed hours 79 

In loose array danced lightly o'er the flowers ; 



126 THE POEMS 

Where late the shepherd told his tender tale ; 
And wakened by the murmuring breeze of morn, 
The voice of cheerful Labour filled the dale ; 
And dove-eyed Plenty smiled, and waved her 
liberal horn. 

III. 2. 

Yon ruins, sable from the wasting flame, 
But mark the once resplendent dome ; 
The frequent corse obstructs the sullen stream, 
And ghosts glare horrid from the sylvan gloom. 
How sadly silent all ! 

Save where, outstretched beneath yon hanging 
wall, 90 

Pale Famine moans with feeble breath, 
And Anguish yells, and grinds his bloody teeth — 
Though vain the Muse, and every melting lay, 
To touch thy heart, unconscious of remorse ! 
Know, monster, know, thy hour is on the way, 
I see, I see the years begin their mighty course. 

III. 3. 

What scenes of glory rise 

Before my dazzled eyes ! 

Young Zephyrs wave their wanton wings, 

And melody celestial rings : 100 

All blooming on the lawn the nymphs advance, 

And touch the lute, and range the dance ; 

And the blithe shepherds on the mountain-side, 



OF BEATTIE. 127 

Arrayed in all their rural pride, 
Exalt the festive note, 
Inviting Echo from her inmost grot — 
But ah ! the landscape glows with fainter light, 
It darkens, swims, and flies for ever from my sight. 

IV. I. 

Illusions vain ! Can sacred Peace reside 
Where sordid gold the breast alarms, no 

Where Cruelty inflames the eye of Pride, 
And Grandeur wantons in soft Pleasure's arms ? 
Ambition ! these are thine : 
These from the soul erase the form divine ; 
And quench the animating fire, 
That warms the bosom with sublime desire. 
Thence the relentless heart forgets to feel, 
And Hatred triumphs on th' o'erwhelming brow, 
And midnight Rancour grasps the cruel steel, 
Blaze the blue flames of death, and sound the 

shrieks of Woe. 120 



From Albion fled, thy once beloved retreat, 
What region brightens in thy smile, 
Creative Peace, and underneath thy feet 
Sees sudden flowers adorn the rugged soil ? 
In bleak Siberia blows, 

Waked by thy genial breath, the balmy rose ? 
Waved over by thy magic wand 



128 THE POEMS 

Does life inform fell Libya's burning sand ? 
Or does some isle thy parting flight detain, 129 
Where roves the Indian through primeval shades, 
Haunts the pure pleasures of the sylvan reign, 
And led by reason's light the path of nature treads ? 

IV. 3. 

On Cuba's utmost steep x 

Far leaning o'er the deep 

The Goddess' pensive form was seen. 

Her robe of Nature's varied green 

Waved on the gale ; grief dimmed her radiant 

eyes, 
Her bosom heaved with boding sighs : 
She eyed the main ; where, gaining on the view. 
Emerging from th' ethereal blue, uo 

Midst the dread pomp of war, 
Blazed the Iberian streamer from afar. 
She saw ; and, on refulgent pinions borne, 
Slow winged her way sublime, and mingled with 
the morn. 

1 This alludes to the discovery of America by the Spaniards 
under Columbus. These ravagers are said to have made their 
first descent on the islands in the Gulf of Florida, of which 
Cuba is one. 




OF BEATTIE. 120 



THE TRIUMPH OF MELANCHOLY. 

i EMORY, be still ! why throng upon the 
thought 
These scenes so deeply-stained with 
Sorrow's dye ? 
Is there in all thy stores no cheerful draught, 
To brighten yet once more in Fancy's eye ? 

Yes — from afar a landscape seems to rise, 
Embellished by the lavish hand of Spring ; 

Thin gilded clouds float lightly o'er the skies, 
And laughing Loves disport on fluttering wing. 

How blest the youth in yonder valley laid ! 

What smiles in every conscious feature play! 10 
While to the murmurs of the breezy glade 

His merry pipe attunes the rural lay. 

Hail Innocence ! whose bosom, all serene, 
Feels not as yet th' internal tempest roll ! 

ne'er may Care distract that placid mien ! 
Ne'er may the shades of Doubt o'erwhelm thy 
soul! 

Vain wish ! for lo, in gay attire concealed, 
Yonder she comes ! the heart-inflaming fiend ! 

(Will no kind power the helpless stripling shield ?) 
Swift to her destined prey see Passion bend ! 20 



130 THE poems 

smile accursed, to hide the worst designs ! 

Now with blithe eye she wooes him to be blest 
While round her arm unseen a serpent twines — 

And lo, she hurls it hissing at his breast ! 

And, instant, lo, his dizzy eyeball swims 

Ghastly, and reddening darts a frantic glare ; 

Pain with strong grasp distorts his writhing limbs, 
And Fear's cold hand erects his frozen hair ! 

Is this, life, is this thy boasted prime ? 29 

And does thy spring no happier prospect yield? 1 ' 

Why should the sunbeam paint thy glittering clime, 
When the keen mildew desolates the field ? 

How memory pains ! Let some gay theme beguile 
The musing mind, and soothe to soft delight. 

Ye images of woe, no more recoil ; 

Be life's past scenes wrapt in oblivious night. 

Now when fierce Winter, armed with wasteful 
power, 

Heaves the wild deep that thunders from afar, 
How sweet to sit in this sequestered bower, 

To hear, and but to hear, the mingling war! 1 

Ambition here displays no gilded toy 

That tempts on desperate wing the soul to rise, 
Nor Pleasure's paths to wilds of woe decoy, 

Nor Anguish lurks in Grandeur's proud disguise 



OF BEATTIE. 131 

Oft has Contentment cheered this lone abode 
With the mild languish of her smiling eye ; 

Here Health in rosy bloom has often glowed, 
While loose-robed Quiet stood enamoured by. 

Even the storm lulls to more profound repose : 49 
The storm these humble walls assails in vain ; 

The shrub is sheltered when the whirlwind blows, 
While the oak's mighty ruin strows the plain. 

Blow on, ye winds ! Thine, Winter, be the skies, 
And toss th' infuriate surge, and vales lay waste : 

Nature thy temporary rage defies; 

To her relief the gentler Seasons haste. 

Throned in her emerald-car see Spring appear ! 

(As Fancy wills, the landscape starts to view) 
Her emerald-car the youthful Zephyrs bear, 

Fanning her bosom with their pinions blue. 60 

Around the jocund Hours are fluttering seen ; 

And lo, her rod the rose-lipped power extends ! 
And lo, the lawns are decked in living green, 

And Beauty's bright- eyed train from heaven 
descends ! 

Haste, happy days, and make all nature glad — 
But will all nature joy at your return ? 

0, can ye cheer pale Sickness' gloomy bed, 
Or dry the tears that bathe th' untimely urn ? 



132 THE POEMS 

Will ye one transient ray of gladness dart 

Where groans the dungeon to the captive's wail ? 

To ease tired Disappointment's bleeding heart, 71 
Will all your stores of softening balm avail ? 

When stern Oppression in his harpy-fangs 
From Want's weak grasp the last sad morsel 
bears, 

Can ye allay the dying parent's pangs, 

Whose infant craves relief with fruitless tears ? 

For ah ! thy reign, Oppression, is not past. 

Who from the shivering limbs the vestment rends? 
Who lays the once-rejoicing village waste, 

Bursting the ties of lovers and of friends ? so 

But hope not, Muse, vainglorious as thou art, 
With the weak impulse of thy humble strain, 

Hope not to soften Pride's obdurate heart, 
When Errol's bright example shines in vain. 

Then cease the theme. Turn, Fancy, turn thine eye, 
Thy weeping eye, nor further urge thy flight ; 

Thy haunts, alas ! no gleams of joy supply, 

Or transient gleams, that flash, and sink in night. 

Yet fain the mind its anguish would forego— I 
Spread then, historic Muse, thy pictured scroll 

Bid thy great scenes in all their splendour glow, 
And rouse to thought sublime th' exulting soul 






OF BEATTIE. 133 

What mingling pomps rush on th' enraptured gaze ! 

Lo, where the gallant navy rides the deep ! 
Here glittering towns their spiry turrets raise ! 

There bulwarks overhang the shaggy ste^p ! 

Bristling with spears, and bright with burnished 
shields, 

Th' embattled legions stretch their long array ; 
Discord's red torch, as fierce she scours the fields, 

With bloody tincture stains the face of day. 100 

And now the hosts in silence wait the sign. 

Keen are their looks whom Liberty inspires. 
Quick as the Goddess darts along the line, 

Each breast impatient burns with noble fires. 

Her form how graceful ! In her lofty mien 

The smiles of love stern wisdom's frown control ; 

Her fearless eye, determined though serene, 
Speaks the great purpose, and th' unconquereci 
soul. 

Mark, where Ambition leads the adverse band, 1C9 
Each feature fierce and haggard, as with pain ! 

With menace loud he cries, while from his hand 
He vainly strives to wipe the crimson stain. 

Lo ! at his call, impetuous as the storms, 

Headlong to deeds of death the hosts are driven ; 

Hatred to madness wrought, each face deforms, 
Mounts the black whirlwind, and involves the 
heaven. 



134 THE POEMS 

Now, Virtue, now thy powerful succour lend, 
Shield them for Liberty who dare to die — ■ 

Ah, Liberty ! will none thy cause befriend ? 119 
Are those thy sons, thy generous sons, that fly ? 

Not Virtue's self, when Heaven its aid denies, 
Can brace the loosened nerves, or warm the heart; 

Not Virtue's self can still the burst of sighs, 
When festers in the soul Misfortune's dart. 

See, where by terror and despair dismayed 
The scattering legions pour along the plain ! 

Ambition's car in bloody spoils arrayed 

Hews its broad way, as Vengeance guides the j 
rein. 

But who is he, that, by yon lonely brook 

With woods o'erhung and precipices rude, 1 130 

Lies all abandoned, yet with dauntless look 

Sees streaming from his breast the purple flood ? 

Ah, Brutus ! ever thine be Virtue's tear ! 

Lo, his dim eyes to Liberty he turns, 
As scarce supported on her broken spear 

O'er her expiring son the Goddess mourns. 

Loose to the wind her azure mantle flies, 

From her dishevelled locks she rends the plume 

1 Such, according to Plutarch, was the scene of Brutus's 
death. 



OF BEATTIE. 135 

No lustre lightens in her weeping eyes, 139 

And on her tear-stained cheek no roses bloom. 

Meanwhile the world, Ambition, owns thy sway, 
Fame's loudest trumpet labours with thy name, 

For thee the Muse awakes her sweetest lay, 
And Flattery bids for thee her altars flame. 

Nor in life's lofty bustling sphere alone, 

The sphere where monarchs and where heroes 
toil, 
Sink Virtue's sons beneath Misfortune's frown. 
While Guilt's thrilled bosom leaps at Pleasure's 
smile ; 

Full oft, where Solitude and Silence dwell, 

Far, far remote amid the lowly plain, 150 

Resounds the voice of Woe from Virtue's cell. 
Such is man's doom, and Pity weeps in vain. 

Still grief recoils — How vainly have I strove 
Thy power, Melancholy, to withstand ! 

Tired I submit ; but yet, yet remove, 
Or ease the pressure of thy heavy hand ! 

Yet for a while let the bewildered soul 

Find in society relief from woe ; 
yield a while to friendship's soft control ; 

Some respite, Friendship, wilt thou not bestow ? 



136 THE POEMS 

Come, then, Philander, whose exalted mind iei 
Looks down from far on all that charms the 
great ; 

For thou canst bear, unshaken and resigned, 
The brightest smiles, the blackest frowns of Fate : 

Come thou, whose love unlimited, sincere, 
Nor faction cools, nor injury destroys ; 

Who lend'st to Misery's moan a pitying ear, 
And feel'st with ecstasy another's joys : 

Who know'st man's frailty ; with a favouring eye, 
And melting heart, behold'st a brother's fall ; 

Who, unenslaved by Fashion's narrow tie, 171 

With manly freedom follow'st Nature's call. 

And bring thy Delia, sweetly-smiling fair, 
Whose spotless soul no rankling thoughts de- 
form ; 

Her gentle accents calm each throbbing care, 
And harmonize the thunder of the storm : 

Though blest with wisdom, and with wit refined, 
She courts no homage, nor desires to shine ; 

In her each sentiment sublime is joined 

To female softness, and a form divine. iso 

Come, and disperse th' involving shadows drear ; 

Let chastened mirth the social hours employ ; 
catch the swift- winged moment while 'tis near, 

On swiftest wing the moment flies of joy. 



OF BEATTIE. 137 

Even while the careless disencumbered soul 
Sinks all dissolving into pleasure's dream, 

Even then to Time's tremendous verge we roll 
With headlong haste along life's surgy stream. 

Can Gaiety the vanished years restore, 

Or on the withering limbs fresh beauty shed, 

Or soothe the sad inevitable hour, i9i 

Or cheer the dark, dark mansions of the dead ? 

Still sounds the solemn knell in fancy's ear, 
That called Eliza to the silent tomb ; 

To her how jocund rolled the sprightly year ! 
How shone the nymph in beauty's brightest 
bloom ! 

Ah ! Beauty's bloom avails not in the grave, 
Youth's lofty mien, nor age's awful grace ; 

Moulder alike unknown the prince and slave, 199 
Whelmed in th' enormous wreck of human race. 

The thought-fixed portraiture, the breathing bust, 
The arch with proud memorials arrayed, 

The long-lived pyramid shall sink in dust 
To dumb oblivion's ever-desert shade. 

Fancy from joy still wanders far astray. 

Ah, Melancholy ! how I feel thy power 
Long have I laboured to elude thy sway 1 

But 'tis enough, for I resist no more. 




138 THE POEMS 

The traveller thus, that o'er the midnight waste 
Through many a lonesome path is doomed to 

roam, 210 

Wildered and weary sits him down at last ; 
For long the night, and distant far his home. 



ELEGY. 

I RED with the busy crowds, that all the 
day 
Impatient throng where Folly's altars 
flame, 

My languid powers dissolve with quick decay, 
Till genial Sleep repair the sinking frame. 

Hail, kind reviver ! that canst lull the cares, 
And every weary sense compose to rest, 

Lighten th' oppressive load which anguish bears, 
And warm with hope the cold desponding breast. 

Touched by thy rod, from Power's majestic brow 
Drops the gay plume ; he pines a lowly clown j 

And on the cold earth stretched the son of Woe 11 
Quaffs Pleasure's draught, and wears a fancied 
crown. 

When roused by thee, on boundless pinions borne, 
Fancy to fairy scenes exults to rove, 






OF BEATTIE. 139 

Now scales the cliff gay-gleaming on the morn, 
Now sad and silent treads the deepening grove ; 

Or skims the main, and listens to the storms, 
Marks the long waves roll far remote away ; 

Or mingling with ten thousand glittering forms, 
Floats on the gale, and basks in purest day. 20 

Haply, ere long, pierced by the howling blast, 
Through dark and pathless deserts I shall roam, 

Plunge down th' unfathomed deep, or shrink aghast 
Where bursts the shrieking spectre from the 
tomb: 

Perhaps loose Luxury's enchanting smile 
Shall lure my steps to some romantic dale, 

Where Mirth's light freaks th' unheeded hours 
beguile, 
And airs of rapture warble in the gale. 

Instructive emblem of this mortal state ! 

Where scenes as various every hour arise 30 
In swift succession, which the hand of Fate 

Presents, then snatches from our wondering 
eyes. 

Be taught, vain man, how fleeting all thy joys, 
Thy boasted grandeur, and thy glittering store ; 

Death comes, and all thy fancied bliss destroys, 
Quick as a dream it fades, and is no more. 




140 THE POEMS 

And, sons of Sorrow ! though the threatening storm 

Of angry Fortune overhang awhile, 
Let not her frowns your inward peace deform ; 

Soon happier days in happier climes shall smile. 

Through Earth's thronged visions while we toss 
forlorn, 41 

'Tis tumult all, and rage, and restless strife ; 
But these shall vanish like the dreams of morn, 

When Death awakes us to immortal life. 



ELEGY. 

,XULTS the fluttering heart, Mortal- 
born, 
If Fame pronounce thee beautiful 
and wise, 

If pompous blazonry thy name adorn ! 

Approach, with trembling awe, where **** lies; 

And pause ; and know thy boasted honours vain. 

Vain all the gifts that fortune can bestow. 
Late shone around Her all the gorgeous train, 

But shine not round the mouldering dust below. 

Gazed at from far by Envy's lifted eye 

What then avails to deck th' exalted scene, 10 

If there the blasting storms of anguish fly, 
If Frailty there displays her withering mien ? 



OF BEATTIE. 141 

But Virtue (sacred plant ! ) no soil disdains ; 

The plant that Frailty's fiercest frown defies. 
Retired it blooms amid the lowly plains ; 

Or decks the mountain's brow that mates the 
skies, 

And there conspicuous forms the Pilgrim's bower, 
When Sorrow darts direct the feverish ray ; 

And forms his shelter from the tempest's power 
In stern Oppression's desolating day. 20 

This, Grandeur, be thy praise; 'tis more than fame. 

This praise was Hers ; yet not to this confined, 
Hers was th' indulgent soul untaught to blame, 

Hers all the graces of the mildest mind. 

Slight is your wound, who mourn a Guardian lost, 
Though griefs sharp sting now prompt the pious 
sigh; 

He lives, the friend of man, the Muse's boast, 
And Bounty's hand shall wipe your streaming eye. 

But ah ! what balm shall heal His bleeding heart, 
Who for the Friend, and for the Lover mourns ? 

Of all the joys that friendship can impart, 31 

When love's divinest flame united burns, 

Possessed so late ! but now possessed no more ! — 
Thus triumphs fate o'er all that charms below ; 

Thus curbs the storm till joy's meridian hour, 
To wrap the smiling scene in darker woe. 



142 THE POEMS 

Sole object of a Mother's tender care, 

Could ought of song avail to ease thy pain ; 

Or charm a Parent's, Sister's, Friend's despair ; 
Fain would the Muse attempt some soothing 
strain. m 

But what can soothe, when Hope denies her aid ? 

Far in the silent depth of yonder gloom, 
Where the weak lamp wan wavers o'er the dead, 

She hides in sable dust her sparkling plume. 

T' enrage their smart, Remembrance wakes severe, 
And bids the vanished years again to roll ; 

Again they seem that soothing voice to hear, 
Again those looks shoot transport to the soul. 

The vision flies, and leaves the mind to mourn, 
Saddening each scene that pleased while She 
was by ; 50 

For ah ! those vanished years no more return ; 
Mute the soft voice, and closed the gentle eye. 

Come, Resignation, with uplifted brow, 

And eye of rapture smiling though in tears ; 

Come, for thou lov'st the silent house of woe, 
When no fond friend th' abandoned mansion 
cheers. 

Come, for 'tis thine to soothe the Mourner's smart, 
The throbs of hopeless anguish to control, 

With healing balm to point Death's levelled dart, 59 
And melt in heavenly dreams the parting soul. 



OF BEATTIE. 143 

We marked Thy triumphs in that hour of dread ; 

When from Her eyes, that looked a last adieu, 
Each weeping friend seem'd vanishing in shade, 

And darkening slow the swimming scene with- 
drew. 

'Twas then Her pale cheek caught Thy rapturous 

smile, 

Thy cheering whispers calmed her labouring 

breast, 

And hymns of quiring angels charmed the while ; 

Till the weak frame dissolved in endless rest. 



THE WOLF AND SHEPHERDS. 

A FABLE. 

AWS, as we read in ancient sages, 
Have been like cobwebs in all ages. 
Cobwebs for little flies are spread, 
And laws for little folks are made ; 

But if an insect of renown, 

Hornet or beetle, wasp or drone, 

Be caught in quest of sport or plunder, 

The flimsy fetter flies in sunder. 
Your simile perhaps may please one 

With whom wit holds the place of reason : 

But can you prove that this in fact is 

Agreeable to life and practice ? 




144 THE POEMS 

Then hear, what in his simple way 
Old ^Esop told me t'other day. 
In days of yore, but (which is very odd) 
Our author mentions not the period, 
We mortal men, less given to speeches, 
Allowed the beasts sometimes to teach us. 
But now we all are prattlers grown, 
And suffer no voice but our own : 
With us no beast has leave to speak, 
Although his honest heart should break. 
'Tis true, your asses and your apes, 
And other brutes in human shapes, 
And that thing made of sound and show 
Which mortals have misnamed a beau, 
(But in the language of the sky 
Is called a two-legged butterfly), 
Will make your very heartstrings ache 
With loud and everlasting clack, 
And beat your auditory drum, 
Till you grow deaf, or they grow dumb. 

But to our story we return : 
'Twas early on a Summer morn, 
A Wolf forsook the mountain den, 
And issued hungry on the plain. 
Full many a stream and lawn he passed, 
And reached a winding vale at last ; 
Where from a hollow rock he spied 
The shepherds drest in flowery pride. 
Garlands were strowed, and all was gay, 
To celebrate a holiday. 



OF BEATTIE. 145 

The merry tabor's gamesome sound 

Provoked the sprightly dance around. 

Hard by a rural board was reared, 

On which in fair array appeared 

The peach, the apple, and the raisin, 

And all the fruitage of the season. 

But, more distinguished than the rest, 

Was seen a wether ready drest, 50 

That smoking, recent from the flame, 

Diffused a stomach -rousing steam. 

Our wolf could not endure the sight, 

Outrageous grew his appetite : 

His entrails groaned with tenfold pain, 

He licked his lips, and licked again ; 

At last, with lightning in his eyes, 

He bounces forth, and fiercely cries, 

" Shepherds, I am not given to scolding, 

But now my spleen I cannot hold in. ec 

By Jove, such scandalous oppression 

Would put an elephant in passion. 

You, who your flocks (as you pretend) 

By wholesome laws from harm defend, 

Which make it death for any beast, 

How much soe'er by hunger pressed, 

To seize a sheep by force or stealth, 

For sheep have right to life and health ; 

Can you commit, unchecked by shame, 

What in a beast so much you blame ? 70 

What is a law, if those who make it 

Become the forwardest to break it ? 



146 THE POEMS 

The case is plain : you would reserve 
All to yourselves, while others starve. 
Sueh laws from base self-interest spring. 
Not from the reason of the thing — " 
He was proceeding, when a swain 
Burst out, — " And dares a wolf arraign 
His betters, and condemn their measures, 
And contradict their wills and pleasures ? so 
We have established laws, 'tis true, 
But laws are made for such as you. 
Know, sirrah, in its very nature 
A law can't reach the legislature. 
For laws, without a sanction joined, 
As all men know, can never bind : 
But sanctions reach not us the makers, 
For who dares punish us though breakers ? 
'Tis therefore plain, beyond denial, 
That laws were ne'er designed to tie all ; 90 
But those, whom sanctions reach alone ; 
We stand accountable to none. 
Besides, 'tis evident, that, seeing 
Laws from the great derive their being, 
They as in duty bound should love 
The great, in whom they live and move, 
And humbly yield to their desires : 
'Tis just what gratitude requires. 
What suckling dandled on the lap 
Would tear away its mother's pap ? 100 

But hold — Why deign I to dispute 
With such a scoundrel of a brute ? 



OF BEATTIE. 147 

Logic is lost upon a knave. 

Let action prove the law our slave." 

An angry nod his will declared 
To his gruff yeoman of the guard ; 
The full-fed mongrels, trained to ravage. 
Fly to devour the shaggy savage. 

The beast had now no time to lose 
In chopping logic with his foes ; no 

" This argument/'' quoth he, " has force, 
And swiftness is my sole resource." 

He said, and left the swains their prey, 
And to the mountains scoured away. 




148 THE POEMS 



ON THE REPORT OF A MONUMENT 

TO BE ERECTED IN" WESTMINSTER ABBEY TO THE 
MEMORY OF A LATE AUTHOR. 1 

Part of a letter to a person of quality. 
* * * * 

EST your Lordship, who are so well 
acquainted with every thing that re- 
lates to true honour, should think 
hardly of me for attacking the memory 
of the dead, I beg leave to offer a few words in 
my own vindication. 

If I had composed the following verses, with a 
view to gratify private resentment, to promote the 
interest of any faction, or to recommend myself to 
the patronage of any person whatsoever, I should 
have been altogether inexcusable. To attack the 
memory of the dead from selfish considerations, 
or from mere wantonness of malice, is an enormity 
which none can hold in higher detestation than I. 
But I composed them from very different motives ; 
as every intelligent reader, who peruses them with 
attention, and who is willing to believe me upon 
my own testimony will undoubtedly perceive. 
My motives proceeded from a sincere desire to 
do some small service to my country, and to the 
1 Churchill. 



OF BEATTIE. 149 

cause of truth and virtue. The promoters of fac- 
tion I ever did, and ever will consider as the 
enemies of mankind; to the memory of such I 
owe no veneration ; to the writings of such I owe 
no indulgence. 

Your Lordship knows that (Churchill) owed the 
greatest share of his renown to the most incom- 
petent of all judges, the mob; actuated by the 
most unworthy of all principles, a spirit of inso- 
lence ; and inflamed by the vilest of all human 
passions, hatred to their fellow citizens. Those 
who joined the cry in his favour seemed to me to 
be swayed rather by fashion than by real senti- 
ment. He therefore might have lived and died 
unmolested by me ; confident as I am, that pos- 
terity, when the present unhappy dissensions are 
forgotten, will do ample justice to his real charac- 
ter. But when I saw the extravagant honours 
that were paid to his memory, and heard that a 
monument in Westminster Abbey was intended 
for one, whom even his admirers acknowledge to 
have been an incendiary and a debauchee, I could 
not help wishing that my countrymen would re- 
flect a little on what they were doing, before they 
consecrated, by what posterity would think the 
public voice, a character which no friend to virtue 
or to true taste can approve. It was this senti- 
ment, enforced by the earnest request of a friend, 
which produced the following little poem ; in 
which I have said nothing of (Churchill's) manners 




150 THE POEMS 

that is not warranted by the best authority ; nor 
of his writings, that is not perfectly agreeable to 
the opinion of many of the most competent judges 
in Britain. Aberdeen, January 1765. 



jUFO, begone ! with thee may Faction's 
fire, 
That hatched thy salamander-fame, 
expire. 

Fame, dirty idol of the brainless crowd, 
What half-made moon-calf can mistake for good ! 
Since shared by knaves of high and low degree ; 
Cromwell, and Catiline ; Guido Faux, and thee. 

By nature uninspired, untaught by art ; 
With not one thought that breathes the feeling 

heart, 
With not one offering vowed to Virtue's shrine, 
With not one pure, unprostituted line ; 10 

Alike debauched in body, soul, and lays ; 

For pensioned censure, and for pensioned praise, 
For ribaldry, for libels, lewdness, lies, 
For blasphemy of all the Good and Wise ; 
Coarse virulence in coarser doggerel writ, 
Which bawling blackguards spelled, and took for 

wit; 
For conscience, honour, slighted, spurned, o'er- 

thrown ; — 






OF BEATTIE. 151 

Lo. Bufo shines the minion of renown ! 

Is this the land that boasts a Milton's fire, 
And magic Spenser's wildly- warbling lyre ? 20 
The land that owns th' omnipotence of song, 
When Shakespeare whirls the throbbing heart 

along ? 
The land where Pope, with energy divine, 
In one strong blaze bade wit and fancy shine ; 
Whose verse, by Truth in Virtue's triumph borne, 
Gave knaves to infamy, and fools to scorn ; 
Yet pure in manners, and in thought refined, 
Whose life and lays adorned and blessed mankind? 
Is this the land where Gray's unlaboured art 
Soothes, melts, alarms, and ravishes the heart ; 30 
While the lone wanderer's sweet complainings flow 
In simple majesty of manly woe ; 
Or while, sublime, on eagle pinion driven, 
He soars Pindaric heights, and sails the waste of 

heaven ? 
Is this the land, o'er Shenstone's recent urn 
Where all the Loves and gentler Graces mourn ? 
And where, to crown the hoary bard of night, 1 
The Muses and the Virtues all unite ? 
Is this the land where Akenside displays 
The bold yet temperate flame of ancient days ? 40 
Like the rapt Sage, 2 in genius as in theme, 
Whose hallowed strain renowned Illyssus' stream ; 
Or him, th' indignant Bard, 3 whose patriot ire, 

1 Dr. Young. 2 Plato. 

3 Alceus. See Akenside's Ode on Lyric Poetry. 



152 THE POEMS 

Sublime in vengeance, smote the dreadful lyre ; 
For truth, for liberty, for virtue warm, 
Whose mighty song unnerved a tyrant's arm, 
Hushed the rude roar of discord, rage, and lust, 
And spurned licentious demagogues to dust. 

Is this the queen of realms ? the glorious isle 
Britannia, blest in Heaven's indulgent smile ? 50 
Guardian of truth, and patroness of art, 
Nurse of th' undaunted soul, and generous heart ? 
Where, from a base unthankful world exiled, 
Freedom exults to roam the careless wild ; 
Where taste to science every charm supplies, 
And genius soars unbounded to the skies ? 

And shall a Bufo's most polluted name 
Stain her bright tablet of untainted fame ? 
Shall his disgraceful name with theirs be joined, 
Who wished and wrought the welfare of their kind? 
His name accurst, who, leagued with [Wilkes] and 
hell, 6i 

Laboured to rouse, with rude and murderous yell, 
Discord the fiend, to toss rebellion's brand, 
To whelm in rage and woe a guiltless land ; 
To frustrate wisdom's, virtue's noblest plan, 
And triumph in the miseries of man. 

Drivelling and dull, when crawls the reptile 
Muse, 
Swoln from the sty, and rankling from the stews, 
With envy, spleen, and pestilence replete, 69 

And gorged with dust she licked from treason's feet; 
Who once, like Satan, raised to heaven her sight, 



OF BEATTIE. 153 

But turned abhorrent from the hated light: 

O'er such a Muse shall wreaths of glory bloom ? 
No shame and execration be her doom. 

Hard-fated Bufo ! could not dulness save 
Thy soul from sin, from infamy thy grave ? 
Blackmore and Quarles, those blockheads of re- 
nown, 
Lavished their ink, but never harmed the town : 
Though this, thy brother in discordant song, 
'Harassed the ear, and cramped the labouring 

tongue ; so 

And that, like thee, taught staggering prose to 

stand, 
And limp on stilts of rhyme around the land. 
Harmless they dozed a scribbling life away, 
And yawning nations owned th' innoxious lay : 
But from thy graceless, rude, and beastly brain 
What fury breathed th' incendiary strain ? 

Did hate to vice exasperate thy style ? 

No Bufo matched the vilest of the vile. 

Yet blazoned was his verse with Virtue's name 

Thus prudes look down to hide their want of shame : 
Thus hypocrites to truth, and fools to sense, 9i 
And fops to taste, have sometimes made pretence : 
Thus thieves and gamesters swear by honour's laws: 
Thus pension -hunters bawl their Country's cause ; 
Thus furious Teague for moderation raved, 
And owned his soul to liberty enslaved. 

Nor yet, though thousand Cits admire thy rage, 
Though less of fool than felon marks thy page ; 



154 THE POEMS 

Nor yet, though here and there one lonely spark 
Of wit half brightens through th' involving dark, 
To show the gloom more hideous for the foil, 101 
But not repay the drudging reader's toil ; 
(For who for one poor pearl of clouded ray 
Through Alpine dunghills delves his desperate 

way?) 
Did genius to thy verse such bane impart ? 
No. 'Twas the demon of thy venomed heart, 
(Thy heart with rancour's quintessence endued) 
And the blind zeal of a misjudging crowd. 

Thus from rank soil a poisoned mushroom sprung, 
Nursling obscene of mildew and of dung ; no 

By Heaven designed on its own native spot 
Harmless t' enlarge its bloated bulk, and rot. 
But gluttony th' abortive nuisance saw ; 
It roused his ravenous undiscerning maw : 
Gulped down the tasteless throat, the mess abhorred 
Shot fiery influence round the maddening board. 

had thy verse been impotent as dull, 
Nor spoke the rancorous heart, but lumpish skull; 
Had mobs distinguished, they who howled thy fame, 
The icicle from the pure diamond's flame, 120 

From fancy's soul thy gross imbruted sense, 
From dauntless truth thy shameless insolence, 
From elegance confusion's monstrous mass, 
And from the lion's spoils the skulking ass, 
From raptured strain the drawling doggerel line, 

From warbling seraphim the grunting swine ; 

With gluttons, dunces, rakes, thy name had slept. 



OF BEATTIE. 155 

Nor o'er her sullied fame Britannia wept ; 
Nor had the Muse, with honest zeal possessed, 
T' avenge her country by thy name disgraced, 130 
Raised this bold strain for virtue, truth, mankind, 
And thy fell shade to infamy resigned. 

When frailty leads astray the soul sincere, 
Let Mercy shed the soft and manly tear. 
When to the grave descends the sensual sot, 
Unnamed, unnoticed, let his carrion rot. 
When paltry rogues, by stealth, deceit, or force, 
Hazard their necks, ambitious of your purse ; 
For such the hangman wreathes his trusty gin, 
And let the gallows expiate their sin. ho 

But when a Ruffian, whose portentous crimes 
Like plagues and earthquakes terrify the times, 
Triumphs through life, from legal judgment free, 
For hell may hatch what law could ne'er foresee ; 

Sacred from vengeance shall his memory rest? 

Judas, though dead, though damned, we still detest. 




156 THE POEMS 

SONG, 

IN IMITATION OF SHAKE SPEAEE's ' BLOW, BLOW, 

THOU" WINTEB WIND.' 

i 

LOW, blow, thou vernal gale ! 
Thy balm will not avail 

To ease my aching breast ; 
Though thou the billows smoothe, 
Thy murmurs cannot soothe 
My weary soul to rest. 

Flow, flow, thou tuneful stream ! 
Infuse the easy dream 

Into the peaceful soul ; 
But thou canst not compose 10 

The tumult of my woes, 

Though soft thy waters roll. 

Blush, blush, ye fairest flowers ! 
Beauties surpassing yours 

My Rosalind adorn ; 
Nor is the winter's blast, 
That lays your glories waste, 

So killing as her scorn. 

Breathe, breathe, ye tender lays, 

That linger down the maze 20 

Of yonder winding grove ; 
let your soft control 
Bend her relenting soul 

To pity and to love. 



OF BEATTIE. 157 

Fade, fade, ye flowerets fair ! 
Gales, fan no more the air ! 

Ye streams, forget to glide ! 
Be hushed, each vernal strain ; 
Since nought can soothe my pain, 

Nor mitigate her pride. 30 



EPITAPH 

ON TWO YOUNG MEN OF THE NAME OF LEITCH, 

WHO WERE DROWNED IN CROSSING THE 

RIYER SOTJTHESK, 1757. 

THOU! whose steps in sacred reverence 
tread 

These lone dominions of the silent 
dead; 

On this sad stone a pious look bestow, 
Nor uninstructed read this tale of woe ; 
And while the sigh of sorrow heaves thy breast, 
Let each rebellious murmur be supprest ; 
Heaven's hidden ways to trace, for us, how vain ! 
Heaven's wise decrees, how impious, to arraign ! 
Pure from the stains of a polluted age, 
In early bloom of life, they left the stage : 10 




158 THE POEMS 

Not doomed in lingering woe to waste their breath, 
One moment snatched them from the power of 

Death : 
They lived united, and united died ; 
Happy the friends whom Death cannot divide ! 



EPITAPH, INTENDED FOE HIMSELF. 







^SCAPED the gloom of mortal life, a 
soul 
Here leaves its mouldering tenement 
of clay, 

Safe, where no cares their whelming billows roll, 
No doubts bewilder, and no hopes betray. 

Like thee, I once have stemmed the sea of life ; 

Like thee, have languished after empty joys ; 
Like thee, have laboured in the stormy strife ; 

Been grieved for trifles, and amused with toys. 

Yet, for a while, 'gainst Passion's threatful blast 
Let steady Reason urge the struggling oar ; 10 

Shot through the dreary gloom, the morn at last 
Gives to thy longing eye the blissful shore. 

Forget my frailties, thou art also frail ; 

Forgive my lapses, for thyself may'st fall ; 
Nor read, unmoved, my artless tender tale, 

I was a friend, man ! to thee, to all. 



OF BEATTIE. 159 

VERSES WRITTEN BY MR. BLACKLOCK, 

ON A BLANK LEAF OF HIS POEMS, SENT TO THE AUTHOR. 



-Si quis tamen hsec quoque, si quis 




Captus amore leget. Virgil. 

THOU ! whose bosom inspiration fires ! 

For whom the Muses string their fa- 
vourite lyres ! 

Though with superior genius blest, yet 
deign 
A kind reception to my humbler strain. 

" When florid youth impelled, and fortune smiled, 
The Vocal Art my languid hours beguiled. 
Severer studies now my life engage, 
Researches dull, that quench poetic rage. 

" From morn to evening destined to explore 
The verbal critic, and the scholiast's lore, 10 

Alas ! what beam of heavenly ardour shines 
In musty lexicons and school-divines ? 

" Yet to the darling object of my heart 
A short but pleasing retrospect I dart ; 
Revolve the labours of the tuneful choir, 
And what I cannot imitate, admire. 



160 THE POEMS 

" could ray thoughts with all thy spirit glow, 
As thine melodious could my accents flow ; 
Then thou approving might'st my song attend, 
Nor in a Blacklock blush to own a friend." 20 



AN EPISTLE 

TO THE BEVEKEKD MB. THOMAS BLACKLOCK. 



Monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare ; semita certe 
Tranquillae per virtutem patet unica vitse. 

Juvenal, Sat. x. 



AIL to the Poet! whose spontaneous 
lays 
No pride restrains, nor venal flattery 
sways. 
Who nor from Critics, nor from Fashion's laws, 
Learns to adjust his tribute of applause ; 
But bold to feel, and ardent to impart 
What nature whispers to the generous heart, 
Propitious to the Moral Song, commends, 
For Virtue's sake, the humblest of her friends. 

Peace to the grumblers of an envious age, 
Vapid in spleen, or brisk in frothy rage ! 10 

Critics, who, ere they understand, defame ; 




OF BEATTIE. 161 

And friends demure, who only do not blame ; 
And puppet-prattlers, whose unconscious throat 
Transmits what the pert witling prompts by rote. 
Pleased, to their spite or scorn I yield the lays 
That boast the sanction of a Blacklock's praise. 
Let others court the blind and babbling crowd : 
Mine be the favour of the Wise and Good. 

thou, to censure, as to guile unknown ! 
Indulgent to all merit but thy own ! 20 

Whose soul, though darkness wrap thine earthly 

frame, 
Exults in Virtue's pure ethereal flame ; 
Whose thoughts, congenial with the strains on high, 
The Muse adorns, but cannot dignify ; 
As northern lights, in glittering legions driven, 
Embellish, not exalt, the starry Heaven : 
Say thou, for well thou know'st the art divine 
To guide the fancy, and the soul refine, 
What heights of excellence must he ascend, 
Who longs to claim a Blacklock for his friend ; so 
Who longs to emulate thy tuneful art ; 
But more thy meek simplicity of heart ; 
But more thy virtue patient, undismayed, 
At once though malice and mischance invade ; 
And, nor by learned nor priestly pride confined, 
Thy zeal for truth, and love of human kind. 

Like thee, with sweet ineffable control, 
Teach me to rouse or soothe the impassioned soul, 
And breathe the luxury of social woes ; 
Ah ! ill- exchanged for all that mirth bestows. 40 



162 THE POEMS 

Ye slaves of mirth, renounce your boasted plan, 
For know, 'tis Sympathy exalts the man. 
But, midst the festive bower, or echoing hall 
Can Riot listen to soft Pity's call ? 
Rude he repels the soul- ennobling guest, 
And yields to selfish joy his hardened breast. 

Teach me thine artless harmony of song, 
Sweet, as the vernal warblings borne along 
Arcadia's myrtle groves ; ere art began, 
With critic glance malevolent, to scan so 

Bold nature's generous charms, displayed profuse 
In each warm cheek, and each enraptured muse. 
Then had not Fraud imposed, in Fashion's name, 
For freedom lifeless form, and pride for shame ; 
And, for th' o'erflowings of a heart sincere, 
The feature fixed, untarnished with a tear ; 
The cautious, slow, and unenlivened eye, 
And breast inured to check the tender sigh. 
Then love, unblamed, indulged the guiltless smile ; 
Deceit they feared not, for they knew not guile. 60 
The social sense unawed, that scorned to own 
The curb of law, save nature's law alone, 
To godlike aims, and godlike actions fired ; 
And the full energy of thought inspired ; 
And the full dignity of pleasure, given 
T' exalt desire, and yield a taste of heaven. 

Hail, redolent of heaven, delights sublime ! 
Hail, blooming days, the days of nature's prime ! 
How throbs the tired and harassed heart, to prov<» 
Your scenes of pure tranquillity and love ! 



OF BEATTIE. 163 

But even to fancy fate that bliss denies ; 
For lo, in endless night the vision dies ! 
Ah, how unlike these scenes of rage and strife, 
Darkening to horror the bleak waste of life ! 
Where, all inverted nature's kindly plan, 
Man domineers, the scourge and curse of man. 
Where, haply, bosomed in tempestuous floods, 
Or dark untrodden maze of boundless woods, 
If yet some hand inviolate remain, 79 

Nor dread th' oppressor's rod, nor tyrant's chain ; 
Nor dread the more inglorious fetters, wrought 
By hireling sophistry t' enslave the thought : 
'Tis there, 'tis only there, where boastful fame 
Ne'er stunned the tingling ear with Europe's name. 

Too long, Europe, have thy oceans rolled, 
To glut thy lust of power, and lust of gold ; 
Too long, by glory's empty lure decoyed, 
Thy haughty sons have triumphed and destroyed : 
Or led by reasoning pride afar to roam, 
Where truth's false mimic haunts the sheltering 

gloom, 90 

Have plunged in cheerless night the wildered mind,, 
Th' abodes of peace for ever left behind. 
Unwise, unblest, your own, and nature's foes, 
yet be still, and give the world repose ! 
Say, is it fame to dare the deed of death ? 
Is glory nought but flattery's purchased breath ? 
True praise, can trembling slaves, can fools bestow ? 
Can that be joy, which works another's woe ? 
Can that be knowledge, which in doubt decays ? 



164 THE POEMS 

Can truth reside in disappointment's maze ? 

But quench thy kindling zeal, presumptuous 
strain ; 101 

Thy zeal how impotent ! thy plaint how vain ! 

Hope not thy voice can tame the tempest's rage, 

Or check in prone career a headlong age. 

Far different themes must animate their song, 

Who pant to shine the favourites of a throng. 

Go, thou fond fool, thou slave to Nature's charms, 

Whose heart the cause of injured Truth alarms ; 

Go, herd in Fashion's sleek and simpering train ; 

And watch the workings of her pregnant brain, 

Prepared a sycophant's applause to pay, in 

As each abortive monster crawls to day. 

Smit with the painted puppet-show of state, 

Go learn to gaze, and wonder at the great. 

Go learn with courtly reverence to admire 

A taste in toys, a genius in attire, 

Music of titles, dignity of show, 

The parrot- courtier, and the monkey-beau ; 

And all the equipage of sticks, and strings, 

And clouts, and nicknames — merchandise of kings. 
Or, to amuse the loitering hour of peace, 12J 

When slander, wit, and spleen from troubling 
cease, 

Warble th' unmeaning hymn in Folly's ear ; 

Such hymns unthinking Folly loves to hear. 

Smooth flow thy lays, infusing as they roll 

A deep oblivious lethargy of soul : 

Let rill and gale glide liquidly along, 



OF BEAT TIE. 165 

While not one ruffling thought obstructs the song; 

So shall the gallant and tti3 gay rehearse 

The gentle strain, and call it charming verse, iso 

But if an ampler field thine ardour claim, 
Even realms and empires to resound thy name ; 
Strive not on Fancy's soaring wing to rise ; 
The plodding rabble gaze not on the skies ; 
Far humbler regions bound their grovelling view, 
And humbler tracts their minion must pursue. 
There are, who, grabbling in the putrid lake, 
The glittering ore from filth and darkness rake ; 
Like spoils from Politics thou may'st derive : 
The theme is dirty, dark, and lucrative. uo 

Yet ah ! even here the spoils are hard to win, 
For strong and subtle are thy foes within. 
The pangs of sentiment, the qualms of taste, 
And shame, dire inmate of the Scribbler's breast, 
The stings of conscience, and the throbs of pride, 
(Hard task) must all be vanquished or defied. 
Then go, whate'er thy wit, whate'er thy style, 
Defame the good, and deify the vile ; 
Fearless and frontless flounce into renown, 
For mobs and prudes by impudence are won. 150 
Though Providence, still merciful and just, 
Who dooms the snake to wallow in the dust, 
Oft curb with grovelling impotence of mind 
The venal venom of the rancorous kind ; 
Yet fear not ; Faction's torch of sulphurous gleam 
Shall fire the heart that feels not Fancy's beam. 
Thus [Wilkes] arose distinguished in the throng, 



166 THE POEMS 

Thus Bufo plied a profitable song. 

Proceed, Great Years, with steady glare to shine 
Where guilt and folly bend at Fashion's shrine ; 
And ye, the vain and shameless of our days, i6i 
Approach with songs, and worship in the blaze. 
For him, alas ! who never learned the art 
To stifle conscience, and a throbbing heart ; 
Who, though too proud to mingle in the fray 
Whence truth and virtue bear no palms away, 
Yet views with pity Folly's bustling scene, 
Th' ambitious sick with hope, the rich with spleen, 
The great exulting in a joyless prize, 

Yea pities even the fop he must despise ; 170 

For him what then remains ? — The humble shed, 

Th' ennobling converse of the awful Dead, 

Beauty's pure ray diffused from Nature's face, 

Fancy's sweet charm, and Truth's majestic grace. 

Truth, not of hard access, or threatening mien, 

As by the vain unfeeling wrangler seen ; 

But bland and gentle as the early ray, 

That gilds the wilderness, and lights the way ; 

The messenger of joy to man belcw, 

Friend of our frailty, solace of our woe. iso 

Thus by Heaven's bounty rich shall he repine, 
If others in the toys of Fortune shine ? 
Needs he a title to exalt his race, 
Who from th' Eternal his descent can trace ? 
Or fame's loud trump to stun him to repose, 
Whose soul resigned no guilty tumult knows ? 
To roam with toil, in restless uproar hurled, 



OF BEATTIE. 167 

One little corner of a little world ; 

Can this enlarge or dignify the soul, 

Whose wing unwearied darts from pole to pole ? 

Can glowworms glitter on the car of morn, in 

Or gold the progeny of heaven adorn ? 

How long, enamoured of fictitious joy, 
Shall false desire the lavished hour employ ? 
How long with random steps shall mortals roam, 
Unknown their path, and more unknown their 

home? 
Ah ! still delusive the vain pleasure flies, 
Or, grasped, insults our baffled hope, and dies. 
Meanwhile behind, with renovated force, 
Care and disgust pursue our slackening course, 
And shall o'ertake ; even in the noon of age, 201 
Long ere the sting of Anguish cease to rage, 
And long ere Death, sole friend of the distrest, 
Dismiss the pilgrim to eternal rest. 
Thus, wayward hope still wandering from within , 
Lured by the phantoms of th' external scene ; 
We scorn, what Heaven our only bliss designed 
The humble triumph of a tranquil mind ; 
And that alone pursue which Fortune brings, 
Th' applause of multitudes, or smile of kings. 210 
But ah ! can these, or those afford deli ht ? 
Can man be happy in his Maker's spite ? 
Vain thankless man, averse to Natu e's sway, 
Feels every moment that he must obey. 
Close and more closely clasp the stubborn chains, 
And each new struggle rouses keener pains. 



168 THE POEMS 

Thus stung with appetite, with anguish torn, 
Urged by despair still more and more forlorn, 
Till each fantastic hope expire in woe, 
And the cold cheerless heart forget to glow, 220 
We perish, muttering this unrighteous strain, 
" Joy was not made for man, and life is vain." 

Sweet peace of heart, from false desire refined, 
That pour'st elysian sunshine on the mind, 
come, bid each tumultuous wish be still, 
And bend to nature's law each froward will. 
Let Hope's wild wing ne'er stoop to Fortune's sphere; 
For terror, anguish, discontent are there ; 
But soar with strong and steady flight sublime, 
Where disappointment never dared to climb. 230 
come, serenely gay, and with thee bring 
The vital breath of heaven's eternal spring ; 
Th' amusive dream of blameless fancy born, 
The calm oblivious night, and sprightly morn. 
Bring Resignation, undebased with fear ; 
And Melancholy, serious, not severe ; 
And Fortitude, by chance nor time controlled, 
Meek with the gentle, with the haughty bold ; 
Devotion decked in smiles of filial love ; 
And Thought, conversing with the worlds above. 

So shall my days nor vain nor joyless roll, 241 
Nor with regret survey th' approaching goal ; 
Too happy, if I gain that noblest prize, 
The well-earned favour of the Good and Wise. 




OF BEATTIE. 169 



TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LADY 
CHARLOTTE GORDON, 

DRESSED IN A TARTAN SCOTCH BONNET, WITH PLUMES. 

;HY, lady, wilt thou bind thy lovely brow 
With the dread semblance of that 
warlike helm, 
That nodding plume, and wreath of 
various glow, 
That graced the chiefs of Scotia's ancient realm ? 

Thou know'st that Virtue is of power the source, 
And all her magic to thy eyes is given ; 

We own their empire, while we feel their force, 
Beaming with the benignity of heaven. 

The plumy helmet, and the martial mien, 

Might dignify Minerva's awful charms ; io 

But more resistless far th' Idalian queen — 
Smiles, graces, gentleness, her only arms. 




170 THE POEMS 



TRANSLATIONS. 



ANACREON. ODE XXII. 

Tlaga rriv ctkiw, Ba0yAA£, 
Koc9icrov' 

^ATHYLLUS, in yonder lone grove 
All carelessly let us recline : 
To shade us the branches above 
Their leaf- waving tendrils combine ; 

While a streamlet inviting repose 

Soft-murmuring wanders away, 

And gales warble wild through the boughs : 

Who there would not pass the sweet day ? 



THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST BOOK OF 
LUCRETIUS. 

iEneadum Genetrix v. 1 — 45. 

;OTHER of mighty Rome's imperial line, 
Delight of man, and of the powers divine, 
Yenus, all-bounteous queen ! whose 
genial power 
Diffuses beauty in unbounded store 




OF BEATTIE. 171 

Through seas, and fertile plains, and all that lies 
Beneath the starred expansion of the skies. 
Prepared by thee, the embryo springs to day, 
And opes its eyelids on the golden ray. 
At thy approach the clouds tumultuous fly, 
And the hushed storms in gentle breezes die ; 10 
Flowers instantaneous spring ; the billows sleep ; 
A wavy radiance smiles along the deep ; 
At thy approach, th' untroubled sky refines, 
And all serene Heaven's lofty concave shines. 
Soon as her blooming form the Spring reveals, 
And Zephyr breathes his warm prolific gales, 
The feathered tribes first catch the genial flame. 
And to the groves thy glad return proclaim. 
Thence to the beasts the soft infection spreads ; 
The raging cattle spurn the grassy meads, 20 

Burst o'er the plains, and frantic in their course 
Cleave the wild torrents with resistless force. 
Won by thy charms thy dictates all obey, 
And eager follow where thou lead'st the way. 
Whatever haunts the mountains, or the main, 
The rapid river, or the verdant plain, 
Or forms its leafy mansion in the shades, 
All, all thy universal power pervades, 
Each panting bosom melts to soft desires, 
And with the love of propagation fires. 30 

And since thy sovereign influence guides the reins 
Of nature, and the universe sustains ; 
Since nought without thee bursts the bonds of night, 
To hail the happy realms of heavenly light ; 



172 THE POEMS 

Since love, and joy, and harmony are thine, 

Guide me, goddess, by thy power divine, 

And to my rising lays thy succour bring, 

While I the universe attempt to sing. 

0, may my verse deserved applause obtain 

Of him, for whom I try the daring strain, 40 

My Memmius, him, whom thou profusely kind 

Adorn'st with every excellence refined. 

And that immortal charms my song may grace, 

Let war, with all its cruel labours, cease ; 

hush the dismal din of arms once more, 

And calm the jarring world from shore to shore. 

By thee alone the race of man foregoes 

The rage of blood, and sinks in soft repose : 

For mighty Mars, the dreadful god of arms, 

Who wakes or stills the battle's dire alarms, 50 

In love's strong fetters by thy charms is bound, 

And languishes with an eternal wound. 

Oft from his bloody toil the god retires 

To quench in thy embrace his fierce desires. 

Soft on thy heaving bosom he reclines, 

And round thy yielding neck transported twines ; 

There fixed in ecstasy intense surveys 

Thy kindling beauties with insatiate gaze, 

Grows to thy balmy mouth, and ardent sips 

Celestial sweets from thy ambrosial lips. 60 

0, while the god with fiercest raptures blest 

Lies all dissolving on thy sacred breast, 

breathe thy melting whispers to his ear, 

And bid him still the loud alarms of war. 



OF BEATTIE. 173 

I In these tumultuous days, the Muse, in vain, 
: Her steady tenour lost, pursues the strain, 
And Memmius' generous soul disdains to taste 
The calm delights of philosophic rest ; 
Paternal fires his beating breast inflame, 
To rescue Rome, and vindicate her name. 70 



HORACE. BOOK II. ODE X. 

Rectius vives, Licini 

;OULD'ST thou through life securely 
glide ; 
Nor boundless o'er the ocean ride 
Nor ply too near th' insidious shore, 
Scared at the tempest's threat'ning roar. 
The man, who follows Wisdom's voice, 
And makes the golden mean his choice, 
Nor plunged in antique gloomy cells 
Midst hoary desolation dwells ; 
Nor to allure the envious eye 
Rears his proud palace to the sky. 10 

The pine, that all the grove transcends, 
With every blast the tempest rends ; 
Totters the tower with thund'rous sound, 
And spreads a mighty ruin round ; 
Jove's bolt with desolating blow 
Strikes the ethereal mountain's brow. 




174 THE POEMS 

The man, whose steadfast soul can bear 
Fortune indulgent or severe, 
Hopes when she frowns, and when she smiles 
With cautious fear eludes her wiles. 20 

Jove with rude winter wastes the plain, 
Jove decks the rosy spring again. 
Life's former ills are overpast, 
Nor will the present always last. 
Now Phoebus wings his shafts, and now 
Tie lays aside th' unbended bow, 
Strikes into life the trembling string, 
A.nd wakes the silent Muse to sing. 

With unabating courage, brave 
Adversity's tumultuous wave ; 30 

When too propitious breezes rise, 
And the light vessel swiftly flies, 
With timid caution catch the gale, 
And shorten the distended sail. 



HORACE. BOOK III. ODE XIII. 

Fons Blandusiae 

|LANDUSIA ! more than crystal clear ! 
Whose soothing murmurs charm the 

ear! 
Whose margin soft with flowerets 
crowned 
Invites the festive band around, 




OF BEATTIE. 175 

Their careless limbs diffused supine, 
To quaff the soul-enlivening wine. 

To thee a tender kid I vow, 
That aims for fight his budding brow ; 
In thought the wrathful combat proves, 
Or wantons with his little loves : 10 

But vain are nil his purposed schemes, 
Delusive all his flattering dreams, 
To-morrow shall his fervent blood 
Stain the pure silver of thy flood. 

When fiery Sirius blasts the plain, 
Untouched thy gelid streams remain. 
To thee the fainting flocks repair, 
To taste thy cool reviving air ; 
To thee the ox with toil opprest, 
And lays his languid limbs to rest. 20 

As springs of old renowned, thy name, 
Blest fountain ! I devote to fame ; 
Thus while I sing in deathless lays 
The verdant holm, whose waving sprays, 
Thy sweet retirement to defend, 
High o'er the moss-grown rock impend, 
Whence prattling in loquacious play 
Thy sprightly waters leap away. 



176 THE POEMS 



THE PASTORALS OF VIRGIL. 

Non ita certandi cupidus, quam propter amorem 
Quod te imitari aveo Lucret. lib. iii. ! 

PASTORAL I.- 

MELIBOEUS, TITYETJS. 

MELIBOEUS. 

;HERE the broad beech an ample shade 
displays, 
Your slender reed resounds the sylvan 
lays, 

happy Tityrus ! while we, forlorn, 
Driven from our lands, to distant climes are borne, 

1 It has been observed by some critics, who have treated of 
pastoral poetry, that, in even 7 poem of this kind, it is proper, 
that the scene or landscape, connected with the little plot or 
fable on which the poem is founded, be delineated with at 
least as much accuracy, as is sufficient to render the descrip- 
tion particular and picturesque. How far Virgil has thought 
fit to attend to such a rule may appear from the remarks 
which the translator has subjoined to every Pastoral. 

The scene of the first pastoral is pictured out with great 
accuracy. The shepherds Melibceus and Tityrus are repre- 
sented as conversing together beneath a spreading beech tree. 
Flocks and herds are feeding hard by. At a little distance 
we behold on the one hand a great rock, and on the other a 
fence of flowering willows. The prospect as it widens is 
diversified with groves, and streams, and some tall trees, par- 
ticularly elms. Beyond all these appear marshy grounds 




OF BEATTIE. 177 

Stretched careless in the peaceful shade you sing, 
And all the groves with Amaryllis ring. 



TITYRTJS. 

This peace to a propitious God I owe ; 
None else, my friend, such blessings could bestow. 
Him will I celebrate with rites divine, 
And frequent lambs shall stain his sacred shrine. 
By him, these feeding herds in safety stray ; 11 
By him, in peace I pipe the rural lay. 

MELIBCEUS. 

I envy not, but wonder at your fate, 
That no alarms invade this blest retreat ; 
While neighbouring fields the voice of woe resound, 
And desolation rages all around. 

and rocky hills. The ragged and drooping flock of the un- 
fortunate shepherd, particularly the she goat which he leads 
along, are no inconsiderable figures in this picture. — The 
time is the evening of a summer day, a little before sunset. 
See the Original, v. 1, 5, 9, 52, 54, 57, 59, 81, &c. 

This Pastoral is said to have been written on the following 
occasion. Augustus, in order to reward the services of his 
veterans, by means of whom he had established himself in 
the Roman empire, distributed among them the lands that lay 
contiguous to Mantua and Cremona. To make way for 
these intruders, the rightful owners, of whom Virgil was one, 
were turned out. But our poet, by the intercession of 
Meeaenas, was reinstated in his possessions. Melibceus here 
personates one of the unhappy exiles, and Virgil is repre- 
sented under the character of Tityrus. 



178 THE POEMS 

Worn with fatigue I slowly onward bend, 

And scarce my feeble fainting goats attend. 

My hand this sickly dam can hardly bear, 

Whose young new-yeaned (ah once an hopeful pair!) 

Amid the tangling hazels as they lay, 21 

On the sharp flint were left to pine away. 

These ills I had foreseen, but that my mind 

To all portents and prodigies was blind. 

Oft have the blasted oaks foretold my woe ; 

And often has the inauspicious crow, 

Perched on the withered holm, with fateful cries 

Screamed in my ear her dismal prophecies. 

But say, Tityrus, what god bestows 

This blissful life of undisturbed repose ? 30 

TITTETTS. 

Imperial Rome, while yet to me unknown, 

I vainly likened to our country-town, 

Our little Mantua, at which is sold 

The yearly offspring of our fruitful fold : 

As in the whelp the father's shape appears, 

And as the kid its mother's semblance bears. 

Thus greater things my inexperienced mind 

Rated by others of inferior kind. 

But she, midst other cities, rears her head 

High, as the cypress overtops the reed. 40 

MELIBCEUS. 

And why to visit Rome were you inclined ? 



OF BEATTIE. 179 



TITYETJS. 



'Twas there I hoped my liberty to find. 
And there my liberty I found at last, 
Though long with listless indolence opprest ; 
Yet not till Time had silvered o'er my hairs, 
And I had told a tedious length of years ; 
Nor till the gentle Amaryllis charmed, 1 
And Galatea's love no longer warmed. 
For (to my friend I will confess the whole) 
While Galatea captive held my soul, 50 

Languid and lifeless all I dragged the chain, 
Neglected liberty, neglected gain. 
Though from my fold the frequent victim bled, 
Though my fat cheese th' ungrateful city fed, 
For this I ne'er perceived my wealth increase , 
I lavished all her haughty heart to please. 

MELIBffiUS. 

Why Amaryllis pined, and passed away, 
In lonely shades the melancholy day; 
Why to the gods she breathed incessant vows ; 
For whom her mellow apples pressed the boughs 
So late, I wondered — Tityrus was gone, ei 

And she (ah luckless maid !) was left alone. 

1 The refinements of Taubmannus, De La Cerda, and others, 
who will have Amaryllis to signify Rome, and Galatea to sig- 
nify Mantua, have perplexed this passage not a little : if the 
literal meaning be admitted, the whole becomes obvious and 
natural. 



180 THE POEMS 

Your absence every warbling fountain mourned, 
And woods and wilds the wailing strains returned. 



TITYBTJS. 

What could I do ? to break th' enslaving chain 
All other efforts had (alas !) been vain ; 
Nor durst my hopes presume, but there, to find 
The gods so condescending and so kind. 
'Twas there these eyes the heaven-born youth 

beheld, 1 
To whom our altars monthly incense yield : 70 

My suit he even prevented, while he spoke, 
" Manure your ancient farm, and feed your former 

flock." 

MELIBCETJS. 

Happy old man ! then shall your lands remain, 
Extent sufficient for th' industrious swain ! 
Though bleak and bare yon ridgy rocks arise, 
And lost in lakes the neighbouring pasture lies. 
Your herds on wonted grounds shall safely range, 
And never feel the dire effects of change. 
No foreign flock shall spread infecting bane 79 
To hurt your pregnant dams, thrice happy swain ! 
You by known streams and sacred fountains laid 
Shall taste the coolness of the fragrant shade. 
Beneath yon fence, where willow-boughs unite, 

1 Augustus Caesar. 



OF BEATTIE. 181 

And to their flowers the swarming bees invite, 
Oft shall the lulling hum persuade to rest, 
And balmy slumbers steal into your breast ; 
While warbled from this rock the pruner's lay 
In deep repose dissolves your soul away ; 
High on yon elm the turtle wails alone, 
And your loved ringdoves breathe a hoarser moan. 

TITTEUS. 

The nimble harts shall graze in empty air, 91 
And seas retreating leave their fishes bare, 
The German dwell where rapid Tigris flows, 
The Parthian banished by invading foes 
Shall drink the Gallic Arar, from my breast 
Ere his majestic image be effaced. 

MELIBGEUS. 

But we must travel o'er a length of lands, 
O'er Scythian snows, or Afric's burning sands ; 
Some wander where remote Oaxes laves 
The Cretan meadows with his rapid waves ; 100 
In Britain some, from every comfort torn, 
From all the world removed, are doomed to mourn. 
When long long years have tedious rolled away, 
Ah ! shall I yet at last, at last, survey 
My dear paternal lands, and dear abode, 
Where once I reigned in walls of humble sod ? 
These lands, these harvests must the soldier share ! 
For rude barbarians lavish we our care ! 
How are our fields become the spoil of wars ! 



182 THE POEMS 

How are we ruined by intestine jars ! no 

Now, Meliboeus, now ingraff the pear, 
Now teach the vine its tender sprays to rear ! — 
Go, then, my goats ! — go, once a happy store ! 
Once happy ! — happy now (alas !) no more ! 
No more shall I, beneath the bowery shade 
In rural quiet indolently laid, 
Behold you from afar the cliffs ascend, 
And from the shrubby precipice depend ; 
No more to music wake my melting flute, 
While on the thyme you feed, and willows whole- 
some shoot. 120 

TITYETJS. 

This night at least with me you may repose 
On the green foliage, and forget your woes. 
Apples and nuts mature our boughs afford, 
And curdled milk in plenty crowns my board. 
Now from yon hamlets clouds of smoke arise, 
And slowly roll along the evening skies ; 
And see projected from the mountain's brow 
A lengthened shade obscures the plain below. 



OF BEATTIE. 183 



PASTORAL II. 1 



ALEXIS. 




JOUNG Corydon for fair Alexis pined, 
But hope ne'er gladdened his despond- 
ing mind ; 
Nor vows nor tears the scornful boy 
could move, 
Distinguished by his wealthier master's love. 
Oft to the beech's deep embowering shade 

1 The chief excellency of this poem consists in its delicacy 
and simplicity. Corydon addresses his favourite in such a 
purity of sentiment as one would think might effectually dis- 
countenance the prepossessions 'which generally prevail 
against the subject of this eclogue. The nature of his affec- 
tion may easily be ascertained from his ideas of the happi- 
ness which he hopes to enjoy in the company of "his beloved 
Alexis. 



O tantum libeat 



deign at last amid these lonely fields, &c. 

It appears to have been no other than that friendship, which 
was encouraged by the wisest legislators of ancient Greece, 
as a noble incentive to virtue, and recommended by the ex- 
ample even of Agesilaus, Pericles, and Socrates : an affection 
wholly distinct from the infamous attachments that prevailed 
among the licentious. The reader will find a full and satis- 
fying account of this generous passion in Dr. Potter's An- 



184 THE POEMS 

Pensive and sad this hapless shepherd strayed ; 
There told in artless verse his tender pain 
To echoing hills and groves, but all in vain. 

In vain the flute's complaining lays I try ; 
And am I doomed, unpitying boy, to die ? 
Now to faint flocks the grove a shade supplies, 
And in the thorny brake the lizard lies ; 
Now Thestylis with herbs of savoury taste 
Prepares the weary harvest- man's repast ; 
And all is still, save where the buzzing sound 
Of chirping grasshoppers is heard around ; 
While I exposed to all the rage of heat 
Wander the wilds in search of thy retreat. 

Was it not easier to support the pain 
I felt from Amaryllis' fierce disdain ? 
Easier Menaleas' cold neglect to bear, 
Black though he was, though thou art blooming 

fair ? 
Yet be relenting, nor too much presume, 
beauteous boy, on thy celestial bloom ; 
The sable violet 1 yields a precious dye, 



tiquities of Greece, B. iv. chap. 9. Mons. Bayle in his Dic- 
tionary at the article Virgile has at great length vindicated 
our poet from the charge of immorality which the critics 
have grounded upon this pastoral. 

The scene of this pastoral is a grove interspersed with 
beech-trees ; the season, harvest. 

1 Vaccinium (here translated violet) yielded a purple co- 
lour used in dyeing the garments of slaves, according to Plin. 
1. xvi. c. 28. 



OF BEATTIE. 185 

While useless on the field the withering lilies lie. 

Ah cruel boy ! my love is all in vain, 

No thoughts of thine regard thy wretched swain. 

How rich my flock thou carest not to know, 

Nor how my pails with generous milk o'erflow. 30 

With bleat of thousand lambs my hills resound, 

And all the year my milky stores abound. 

Not Amphion's lays were sweeter than my song, 

Those lays that led the listening herds along. 

And if the face be true I lately viewed, 

Where calm and clear th' uncurling ocean stood. 

I lack not beauty, nor could'st thou deny, 

That even with Daphnis I may dare to vie. 

deign at last amid these lonely fields 
To taste the pleasures which the country yields ; 
With me to dwell in cottages resigned, 4i 

To roam the woods, to shoot the bounding hind ; 
With me the weanling kids from home to guide 
To the green mallows on the mountain side ; 
With me in echoing groves the song to raise, 
And emulate even Pan's celestial lays. 
Pan taught the jointed reed its tuneful strain, 
Pan guards the tender flock, and shepherd swain. 
Nor grudge, Alexis, that the rural pipe 
So oft has stained the roses of thy lip : so 

How did Amyntas strive thy skill to gain ! 
How grieve at last to find his labour vain ! 
Of seven unequal reeds a pipe I have, 
The precious gift which good Damcetas gave ; 
" Take this," the dying shepherd said, " for none 



186 THE POEMS 

Inherits all my skill but thou alone." 
He said ; Amyntas murmurs at my praise, 
And with an envious eye the gift surveys. 
Besides, as presents for my soul's delight 59 

Two beauteous kids I keep bestreaked with white, 
Nourished with care, nor purchased without pain ; 
An ewe's full udder twice a day they drain. 
These to obtain oft Thestylis hath tried 
Each winning art, while I her suit denied ; 
But I at last shall yield what she requests, 
Since thy relentless pride my gifts detests. 

Come, beauteous boy, and bless my rural bowers, 
For thee the nymphs collect the choicest flowers : 
Fair Nais culls amid the bloomy dale 
The drooping poppy, and the violet pale, 70 

To marygolds the hyacinth applies, 
Shading the glossy with the tawny dyes : 
Narcissus' flower with daffodil entwined, 
And cassia's breathing sweets to these are joined, 
With every bloom that paints the vernal grove, 
And all to form a garland for my love. 
Myself with sweetest fruits will crown thy feast ; 
The luscious peach shall gratify thy taste, 
And chestnut brown (once high in my regard, 
For Amaryllis this to all preferred ; 80 

But if the blushing plum thy choice thou make, 
The plum shall more be valued for thy sake.) 
The myrtle wreathed with laurel shall exhale 
A blended fragrance to delight thy smell. 

Ah Corydon ! thou rustic, simple swain ! 



OF BEATTIE. 187 

Thyself, thy prayers, thy offers all are vain. 
How few, compared with rich Iolas' store, 
Thy boasted gifts, and all thy wealth how poor ! 
Wretch that I am ! while thus I pine forlorn, 
And all the livelong day inactive mourn, 90 

The boars have laid my silver fountains waste, 
My flowers are fading in the southern blast. — 
Fly'st thou, ah foolish boy, the lonesome grove ? 
Yet gods for this have left the realms above. 
Paris with scorn the pomp of Troy surveyed, 
And sought th' Idsean bowers and peaceful shade, 
In her proud palaces let Pallas shine ; 
The lowly woods, and rural life be mine. 
The lioness all dreadful in her course 
Pursues the wolf, and he with headlong force 100 
Flies at the wanton goat, that loves to climb 
The cliff's steep side, and crop the flowering thyme ; 
Thee Corydon pursues, beauteous boy : 
Thus each is drawn along by some peculiar joy. 
Now evening soft comes on; and homeward 
now 
From field the weary oxen bear the plough. 
The setting Sun now beams more mildly bright, 
The shadows lengthening with the level light. 
While with love's flame my restless bosom glows. 
For love no interval of ease allows. 110 

Ah Corydon ! to weak complaints a prey ! 
What madness thus to waste the fleeting day ! 
Be roused at length; thy half-pruned vines demand 
The needful culture of thy curbing hand. 



188 THE POEMS 

Haste, lingering swain, the flexile willows weave, 
And with thy wonted care thy wants relieve. 
Forget Alexis' unrelenting scorn, 
Another love thy passion will return. 



PASTORAL III. 

MENALCAS, DAMCETAS, PALJEMON. 1 



MET7ALCAS. 




whom belongs this flock, Damoetas, 
pray: 
To Meliboeus? 



DAMCETAS. 



No ; the other day 
The shepherd JEgon gave it me to keep. 

MENALCAS. 

Ah still neglected, still unhappy sheep ! 2 
He plies Neaera with assiduous love, 

1 The contending shepherds, Menalcas and Damoetas, to- 
gether with their umpire, Palaemon, are seated on the grass, 
not far from a row of beech-trees. Flocks are seen feeding 
hard by. The time of the day seems to be noon, the season 
between Spring and Summer. 

3 Throughout the whole of this altercation, notwithstand- 



OF BEATTIE. 189 

And fears lest she my happier flame approve ; 
Meanwhile this hireling wretch (disgrace to swains !) 
Defrauds his master, and purloins his gains, 
Milks twice an hour, and drains the famish'd 

dams, 
Whose empty dugs in vain attract the lambs. 10 

DAMXETAS. 

Forbear on men such language to bestow. 
Thee, stain of manhood ! thee full well I know. 
I know, with whom — and where — 1 (their grove 

defiled 
The nymphs revenged not, but indulgent smiled) 
And how the goats beheld, then browsing near, 
The shameful sight with a lascivious leer. 

MENALCAS. 

No doubt, when Mycon's tender trees I broke, 
And gashed his young vines with a blunted hook. 

DAMCETAS. 

Or when concealed behind this ancient row 19 
Of beech, you broke young Daphnis' shafts and 
bow, 

ing the untoward subject, the reader will find in the original 
such a happy union of simplicity and force of expression and 
harmony of verse, as it is vain to look for in an English 
translation. 

1 The abruptness and obscurity of the original is here 
imitated. 



190 THE POEMS 

With sharpest pangs of rancorous anguish stung 
To see the gift conferred on one so young ; 
And had you not thus wreaked your sordid spite, 
Of very envy you had died outright. 

MENA.LCAS. 

Gods ! what may masters dare, when such a 
pitch 
Of impudence their thievish hirelings reach : 
Did I not, wretch (deny it if you dare), 
Did I not see you Damon's goat ensnare ? 
Lycisca barked ; then I the felon spied, 
And " Whither slinks yon sneaking thief?" I cried. 
The thief discovered straight his prey forsook, 31 
And skulked amid the sedges of the brook. 

DAMXETAS. 

That goat my pipe from Damon fairly gained ; 
A match was set, and I the prize obtained. 
He owned it due to my superior skill, 
And yet refused his bargain to fulfil. 

MEtfALCAS. 

By your superior skill — the goat was won ! 
Have you a jointed pipe, indecent clown ! 
Whose whizzing straws with harshest discord 

jarred, 39 

As in the streets your wretched rhymes you marred? 



OF BEATT1E. 191 

DAM(ETAS. 

Boasts are but vain. I'm ready when you will, 
To make a solemn trial of our skill. 
I stake this heifer, no ignoble prize ; 
Two calves from her full udder she supplies, 
And twice a day her milk the pail o'erflows ; 
What pledge of equal worth will you expose ? 

MENALCAS. 

Ought from the flock I dare not risk ; I fear 
A cruel stepdame, and a sire severe, 
Who of their store so strict a reckoning keep, 49 
That twice a day they count the kids and sheep. 
But, since you purpose to be mad to-day, 
Two beechen cups I scruple not to lay, 
(Whose far superior worth yourself will own) 
The laboured work of famed Alcimedon. 
Raised round the brims by the engraver's care 
The flaunting vine unfolds its foliage fair ; 
Entwined the ivy's tendrils seem to grow, 
Half-hid in leaves its mimic berries glow ; 
Two figures rise below, of curious frame, 
Conon, and — what's that other sage's name, 60 
Who with his rod described the world's vast round, 
Taught when to reap, and when to till the ground ? 
At home I have reserved them unprofaned, 
No lip has e'er their glossy polish stained. 



192 THE POEMS 

DAMCETAS. 

Two cups for me that skilful artist made ; 
Their handles with acanthus are arrayed ; 
Orpheus is in the midst, whose magic song 
Leads in tumultuous dance the lofty groves along. 
At home I have reserved them unprofaned, 
No lip has e'er their glossy polish stained. 70 

But my pledged heifer if aright you prize, 
The cups so much extolled you will despise. 

MENALCAS. 

These arts, proud boaster, all are lost on me ; 
To any terms I readily agree. 
You shall not boast your victory to-day, 
Let him be judge who passes first this way : 
And see the good Palsemon ! trust me, swain, 
You'll be more cautious how you brag again. 

DAM03TAS. 

Delays I brook not ; if you dare, proceed ; 
At singing no antagonist I dread. ao 

Palsemon, listen to th' important songs, 
To such debates, attention strict belongs. 

PAL^MOX. 

Sing, then. A couch the flowery herbage yields : 
Now blossom all the trees, and all the fields ; 
And all the woods their pomp of foliage wear, 
And Nature's fairest robe adorns the blooming year. 



OF BEATTIE. 193 

Damcetas first th' alternate lay shall raise : 
Th' inspiring Muses love alternate lays. 

DAMOETAS. 

Jove first I sing ; ye Muses, aid my lay ; 90 

All Nature owns his energy and sway ; 
The Earth and Heavens his sovereign bounty share, 
And to my verses he vouchsafes his care. 

MENALCAS. 

With great Apollo I begin the strain, 
For I am great Apollo's favourite swain : 
For him the purple hyacinth I wear, 
And sacred bay to Phoebus ever dear. 

DAMG3TAS. 

The sprightly Galatea at my head 
An apple flung, and to the willows fled ; 
But as along the level lawn she flew, 100 

The wanton wished not to escape my view. 

MENALCAS. 

I languished long for fair Amyntas' charms, 
But now he comes unbidden to my arms, 
And with my dogs is so familiar grown, 
That my own Delia is no better known. 

DAMCETAS. 

I lately marked where midst the verdant shade 
Two parent-doves had built their leafy bed ; 



194 THE POEMS 

I from the nest the young will shortly take, 
And to my love a handsome present make. 

MEFALCAS. 

Ten ruddy wildings, from a lofty bough, no 
That through the green leaves beamed with yellow 

glow 
I brought away, and to Amyntas bore ; 
To-morrow I shall send as many more. 

DAMGETAS. 

Ah the keen raptures ! when my yielding fair 
Breathed her kind whispers to my ravished ear ! 
Waft, gentle gales, her accents to the skies, 
That gods themselves may hear with sweet surprise. 

MENALCAS. 

What though I am not wretched by your scorn ? 
Say, beauteous boy, say can I cease to mourn, 
If, while I hold the nets, the boar you face, 120 
And rashly brave the dangers of the chace ? 

DAHCETAS. 

Send Phyllis home, Iolas, for to-day 
I celebrate my birth, and all is gay ; 
When for my crop the victim I prepare, 
Iolas in our festival may share. 

MEtfALCAS. 

Phyllis I love ; she more than all can charm, 
And mutual fires her gentle bosom warm : 



OF BEATTIE. 195 

Tears, when I leave her, bathe her beauteous eyes, 
I A long, a long adieu, my love !" she cries. 

DAMOETAS. 

The wolf is dreadful to the woolly train, 130 
Fatal to harvests is the crushing rain, 
To the green woods the winds destructive prove, 
To me the rage of mine offended love. 

MENALCAS. 

The willow's grateful to the pregnant ewes, 
Showers to the corn, to kids the mountain brows ; 
More grateful far to me my lovely boy, 
In sweet Amyntas centres all my joy. 

DAM03TAS. 

Even Pollio deigns to hear my rural lays ; 
And cheers the bashful Muse with generous praise ; 
Ye sacred Nine, for your great patron feed no 
A beauteous heifer of the noblest breed. 

MENALCAS. 

Pollio, the art of heavenly song adorns ; 
Then let a bull be bred with butting horns, 
And ample front, that bellowing spurns the ground, 
Tears up the turf, and throws the sands around. 

DAMCETAS. 

Him whom my Pollio loves may nought annoy, 
May he like Pollio every wish enjoy, 



196 THE POEMS 

may his happy lands with honey flow, 
And on his thorns Assyrian roses blow ! 

MENALCAS. 

Who hates not foolish Bavius, let him love iso 
Thee, Maevius, and thy tasteless rhymes approve ! 
Nor needs it thy admirer's reason shock 
To milk the he -goats, and the foxes yoke. 

DAMCETAS. 

Ye boys, on garlands who employ your eare, 
And pull the creeping strawberries, beware, 
Fly for your lives, and leave that fatal place, 
A deadly snake lies lurking in the grass. 

MENALCAS. 

Forbear, my flocks, and warily proceed, 
Nor on that faithless bank securely tread ; 
The heedless ram late plunged amid the pool, 160 
And in the sun now dries his reeking wool. 

DAMCETAS. 

Ho, Tityrus ! lead back the browsing flock, 
And let them feed at distance from the brook ; 
At bathing-time I to the shade will bring 
My goats, and wash them in the cooling spring. 

MENALCAS. 

Haste, from the sultry lawn the flocks remove 
To the cool shelter of the shady grove : 






OF BEATTIE. 197 

When burning noon the curdling udder dries, 
Th' ungrateful teats in vain the shepherd plies. 

DAMCETAS. 

How lean my bull in yonder mead appears, 170 
Though the fat soil the richest pasture bears ! 
Ah Love ! thou reign 'st supreme in every heart, 
Both flocks and shepherds languish with thy dart. 

HEtfALCAS. 

Love has not injured my consumptive flocks, 
Yet bare their bones, and faded are their looks : 
What envious eye hath squinted on my dams, 
And sent its poison to my tender lambs ? 

DAMXETAS. 

Say in what distant land the eye descries 
But three short ells of all th' expanded skies ; 
Tell this, and great Apollo be your name ; 180 

Your skill is equal, equal be your fame. 

MENALCAS. 

Say in what soil a wondrous flower is born, 
Whose leaves the sacred names of kings adorn ; 
Tell this, and take my Phyllis to your arms, 
And reign the unrivalled sovereign of her charms. 

PAL^MON". 

'Tis not for me these high disputes to end ; 
Each to the heifer justly may pretend. 



198 THE POEMS 

Such be their fortune, who so well can sing, 
From love what painful joys, what pleasing tor- 
ments spring. 
Now, boys, obstruct the course of yonder rill, 190 
The meadows have already drunk their fill. 



PASTORAL IV. 1 



ICILIAN Muse, sublimer strains inspire, 
And warm my bosom with diviner fire ! 
All take not pleasure in the rural scene, 
In lowly tamarisks, and forests green. 

1 In this fourth pastoral, no particular landscape is de- 
lineated. The whole is a prophetic song of triumph. But 
as almost all the images and allusions are of the rural kind, 
it is no less a true bucolic than the others ; if we admit the 
definition of a pastoral, given us by an author of the first 
rank,* who calls it " A poem in which any action or passion 
is represented by its effects upon country life." 

It is of little importance to inquire on what occasion this 
poem was written. The spirit of prophetic enthusiasm that 
breathes through it, and the resemblance it bears in many 
places to the Oriental manner, make it not improbable, that 
our poet composed it partly from some pieces of ancient pro- 
phecy that might have fallen into his hands, and that he 
afterwards inscribed it to his friend and patron Pollio, on oc- 
casion of the birth of his son Saloninus. 

* The author of the Rambler. 




OF BEATTIE. 199 

If sylvan themes we sing, then let our lays 
Deserve a consul's ear, a consul's praise. 

The age comes on, that future age of gold 
In Cuma's mystic prophecies foretold. 
The years begin their mighty course again, 
The Virgin now returns, and the Saturnian reign. 
Now from the lofty mansions of the sky 11 

To Earth descends an heaven-born progeny. 
Thy Phcebus reigns, Lucina, lend thine aid, 
Nor be his birth, his glorious birth delayed ! 
An iron race shall then no longer rage, 
But all the world regain the golden age. 
This child, the joy of nations, shall be born 
Thy consulship, O Pollio, to adorn : 
Thy consulship these happy times shall prove, 
And see the mighty months begin to move : 20 
Then all our former guilt shall be forgiven, 
And man shall dread no more th' avenging doom 
of Heaven. 

The son with heroes and with gods shall shine, 
And lead, enrolled with them, the life divine. 
He o'er the peaceful nations shall preside, 
And his sire's virtues shall his sceptre guide. 
To thee, auspicious babe, th' unbidden earth 
Shall bring the earliest of her flowery birth ; 
Acanthus soft in smiling beauty gay, 
The blossomed bean, and ivy's flaunting spray. 30 
Th' untended goats shall to their homes repair, 
And to the milker's hand the loaded udder bear. 
The mighty lion shall no more be feared, 



200 THE POEMS 

But graze innoxious with the friendly herd. 
Sprung from thy cradle fragrant flowers shall 



And, fanning bland, shall wave around thy head. 
Then shall the serpent die, with all his race : 
No deadly herb the happy soil disgrace : 
Assyrian balm on every bush shall bloom, 
And breathe in every gale its rich perfume. 40 

But when thy father's deeds thy youth shall fire, 
And to great actions all thy soul inspire, 
When thou shalt read of heroes and of kings, 
And mark the glory that from virtue springs ; 
Then boundless o'er the far-extended plain, 
Shall wave luxuriant crops of golden grain, 
With purple grapes the loaded thorn shall bend, 
And streaming honey from the oak descend : 
Nor yet old fraud shall wholly be effaced ; 
Navies for wealth shall roam the watery waste ; 50 
Proud cities fenced with towery walls appear, 
And cruel shares shall earth's soft bosom tear : 
Another Tiphys o'er the swelling tide 
With steady skill the bounding ship shall guide : 
Another Argo with the flower of Greece 
From Colchos' shore shall waft the golden fleece ; 
Again the world shall hear war's loud alarms, 
And great Achilles shine again in arms. 

When riper years thy strengthened nerves shall 
brace, 
And o'er thy limbs diffuse a manly grace, 60 

The mariner no more shall plough the deep, 



OF BEATTIE. 201 

Nor load with foreign wares the trading ship, 
Each country shall abound in every store, 
Nor need the products of another shore. 
Henceforth no plough shall cleave the fertile 

ground, 
No pruninghook the tender vine shall wound ; 
The husbandman, with toil no longer broke, 
Shall loose his ox for ever from the yoke. 
No more the wool a foreign dye shall feign, 
But purple flocks shall graze the flowery plain, 70 
Glittering in native gold the ram shall tread, 
And scarlet lambs shall wanton on the mead. 

In concord joined with fate's unaltered law 
The Destinies these happy times foresaw, 
They bade the sacred spindle swiftly run, 
And hasten the auspicious ages on. 

dear to all thy kindred gods above ! 
thou, the offspring of eternal Jove ! 
Receive thy dignities, begin thy reign, 
And o'er the world extend thy wide domain. so 
See nature's mighty frame exulting round 
Ocean, and earth, and heaven's immense profound ! 
See nations yet unborn with joy behold 
Thy glad approach, and hail the age of gold ! 

would th' immortals lend a length of days, 
And give a soul sublime to sound thy praise ; 
Would Heaven this breast, this labouring breast 

inflame 
With ardour equal to the mighty theme ; 



202 THE POEMS 

Not Orpheus with diviner transports glowed, 
When all her fire his mother-muse bestowed ; 90 
Nor loftier numbers flowed from Linus' tongue, 
Although his sire Apollo gave the song ; 
Even Pan, in presence of Arcadian swains 
Would vainly strive to emulate my strains. 
Repay a parent's care, beauteous boy, 
And greet thy mother with a smile of joy : 
For thee, to loathing languors all resigned, 
Ten slow-revolving months thy mother pined. 
If cruel fate thy parents bliss denies, 1 
If no fond joy sits smiling in thine eyes, 100 

No nymph of heavenly birth shall crown thy love, 
Nor shalt thou share th' immortal feasts above. 

1 This passage has perplexed all the critics. Out of a 
number of significations that have been oifered, the translator 
has pitched upon one, which he thinks the most agreeable to 
the scope of the poem and most consistent with the language 
of the original. The reader, who wants more particulars on 
this head, may consult Servius, De La Cerda, or Ruaeus. 



OF BEATTIE. 203 




PASTORAL V. 1 

MEHALCAS, MOPSUS. 
MENALCAS. 

(INCE you with skill can tou^h the 
tuneful reed, 
Since few my verses or my voice ex- 
ceed; 

In this refreshing shade shall we recline, 
Where hazels with the lofty elms combine ? 

MOPSUS. 

Your riper age a due respect requires, 
'Tis mine to yield to what my friend desires ; 
Whether you choose the zephyr's fanning breeze, 
That shakes the wavering shadows of the trees ; 
Or the deep-shaded grotto's cool retreat : — 
And see yon cave screened from the scorching heat, 
Where the wild vine its curling tendrils weaves, n 
Whose grapes glow ruddy through the quivering 
leaves. 

1 Here we discover Menalcas and Mopsus seated in an 
arbour formed by the interwoven twigs of a wild vine. A 
grove of hazels and elms surrounds this arbour. The season 
seems to be Summer. The time of the day is not specified. 



204 THE POEMS 



MENALCAS. 



Of all the swains that to our hills belong, 
Amyntas only vies with you in song. 



MOPSTJS. 



What, though with me that haughty shepherd vie, 
Who proudly dares Apollo's self defy ? 



MENALCAS. 



Begin : let Alcon's praise inspire your strains, 1 
Or Codrus' death, or Phyllis' amorous pains ; 
Begin, whatever theme your Muse prefer. 
To feed the kids be, Tityrus, thy care. 20 



MOPSTJS. 



I rather will repeat that mournful song, 
Which late I carved the verdant beech along ; 
(I carved and trilled by turns the laboured lay) 
And let Amyntas match me if he may. 

MENALCAS. 

As slender willows where the olive grows, 
Or sordid shrubs when near the scarlet rose, 
Such (if the judgment I have formed be true) 
Such is Amyntas when compared with you. 

1 From this passage it is evident that Virgil thought pas- 
toral poetry capable of a much greater variety in its subjects, 
than some modern critics will allow. 



OF BEATTIE. 205 



mopstts. 



No more, Menalcas ; we delay too long, 
The grot's dim shade invites my promised song. 30 
When Daphnis fell by fate's remorseless blow, 1 
The weeping nymphs poured wild the plaint of woe ; 
Witness, hazel-grove, and winding stream, 
For all your echoes caught the mournful^ theme. 
In agony of grief his mother prest 
The clay cold carcase to her throbbing breast, 
Frantic with anguish wailed his hapless fate, 
Raved at the stars, and Heaven's relentless hate. 
'Twas then the swains in deep despair forsook 
Their pining flocks, nor led them to the brook ; 40 
The pining flocks for him their pastures slight, 
Nor grassy plains, nor cooling streams invite. 
The doleful tidings reached the Libyan shores, 
And lions mourned in deep repeated roars. 
His cruel doom the woodlands wild bewail, 
And plaintive hills repeat the melancholy tale. 
'Twas he, who first Armenia's tigers broke, 
And tamed their stubborn natures to the yoke ; 
He first with ivy wrapt the thyrsus round, 

1 It is the most general and most probable conjecture, that 
Julius Caesar is the Daphnis, whose death and deification are 
here celebrated. Some however are of opinion, that by 
Daphnis is meant a real shepherd of Sicily of that name, who 
is said to have invented bucolic poetry, and in honour of 
whom the Sicilians performed yearly sacrifices. 



206 THE POEMS 

And made the hills with Bacchus' rites resound. 1 
As vines adorn the trees which they entwine, 51 
As purple clusters beautify the vine, 
As bulls the herd, as corn the fertile plains, 
The godlike Daphnis dignified the swains. 
When Daphnis from our eager hopes was torn, 
Phoebus and Pales left the plains to mourn. 
Now weeds and wretched tares the crop subdue, 
Where store of generous wheat but lately grew. 
Narcissus' lovely flower no more is seen, 
No more the velvet violet decks the green ; eo 

Thistles for these the blasted meadow yields, 
And thorns and frizzled burs deform the fields. 
Swains, shade the springs, and let the ground be 

drcst 
With verdant leaves ; 'twas Daphnis' last request. 
Erect a tomb in honour to his name 
Marked with this verse to celebrate his fame. 
" The swains with Daphnis' name this tomb adorn, 
Whose high renown above the skies is borne ; 
Fair was his flock, he fairest on the plain, 
The pride, the glory of the sylvan reign." 70 

MENALCAS. 

Sweeter, bard divine, thy numbers seem, 
Than to the scorched swain the cooling stream, 

1 This can be applied only to Julius Caesar ; for it was he 
who introduced at Rome the celebration of the Bacchanalian 
revels. — Servius. 



OF BEATTIE. 207 

Or soft on fragrant flowerets to recline, 
And the tired limbs to balmy sleep resign. 
Blest youth ! whose voice and pipe demand the 

praise 
Due but to thine, and to thy master's lays. 
I in return the darling theme will choose, 
And Daphnis' praises shall inspire my Muse ; 
He in my song shall high as Heaven ascend, 
High as the Heavens, for Daphnis was my friend. 

iropsus. 

His virtues sure our noblest numbers claim • 81 
Nought can delight me more than such a theme, 
Which in your song new dignity obtains ; 
Oft has our Stimichon extolled the strains. 

MENALCAS. 

Now Daphnis shines among the gods a god, 
Struck with the splendours of his new abode. 
Beneath his footstool far remote appear 
The clouds slow-sailing, and the starry sphere. 
Hence lawns and groves with gladsome raptures 

ring, 
The swains, the nymphs, and Pan in concert sing. 
The wolves to murder are no more inclined, 9i 
No guileful nets ensnare the wandering hind, 
Deceit and violence and rapine cease, 
For Daphnis loves the gentle arts of peace. 
From savage mountains shouts of transport rise, 



208 THE POEMS 

Borne in triumphant, echoes to the skies : 
The rocks and shrubs emit melodious sounds, 
Through nature's vast extent the god, the god 

rebounds. 
Be gracious still, still present to our prayer ; 
Four altars, lo ! we build with pious care. 100 

Two for th' inspiring god of song divine, 
And two, propitious Daphnis, shall be thine. 
Two bowls white-foaming with their milky store, 
Of generous oil two brimming goblets more, 
Each year we shall present before thy shrine, 
And cheer the feast with liberal draughts of wine ; 
Before the fire when winter-storms invade, 
In summer's heat beneath the breezy shade : 
The hallowed bowls with wine of Chios crowned, 
Shall pour their sparkling nectar to the ground. 
Damcetas shall with Lyctian 1 ^Egon play, in 

And celebrate with festive strains the day. 
Alphesibceus to the sprightly song 
Shall like the dancing Satyrs trip along. 
These rites shall still be paid, so justly due, 
Both when the nymphs receive our annual vow, 
And when with solemn songs, and victims crowned, 
Our lands in long procession we surround. 
While fishes love the streams and briny deep, 
And savage boars the mountain's rocky steep, 120 
While grasshoppers their dewy food delights, 
While balmy thyme the busy bee invites ; 

1 Lyctium was a city of Crete. 



OF BEATTIE. 209 

So long shall last thine honours and thy fame, 
So long the shepherds shall resound thy name. 
Such rites to thee shall husbandmen ordain, 
As Ceres and the god of wine obtain. 
Thou to our prayers propitiously inclined 
Thy grateful suppliants to their vows shall Bind. 



What boon, dear shepherd, can your song requite? 
For nought in nature yields so sweet delight, iso 
Not the soft sighing of the southern gale, 
That faintly breathes along the flowery vale ; 
Nor, when light breezes curl the liquid plain, 
T'o tread the margin of the murmuring main ; 
Nor melody of streams, that roll away 
Through rocky dales, delights me as your lay. 

MENALCAS. 

No mean reward, my friend, your verses claim ; 
Take then this flute that breathed the plaintive theme 
Of Corydon ; x when proud Damoetas 2 tried 
To match my skill, it dashed his hasty pride, uo 

MOPSTTS. 

And let this sheepcrook by my friend be worn, 
Which brazen studs in beamy rows adorn ; 
This fair Antigenes oft begged to gain, 
But all his beauty, all his prayers were vain. 

1 See Pastoral second. a See Pastoral third. 



210 THE POEMS 




PASTORAL VI. 1 



iY sportive Muse first sung Sicilian 
strains, 
Nor blushed to dwell in woods and 
lowly plains. 
To sing of kings and wars when I aspire, 
Apollo checks my vainly-rising fire. 
" To swains the flock and sylvan pipe belong, 
Then choose some humbler theme, nor dare heroic 

song." 
The voice divine, Varus, I obey, 
And to my reed shall chant a rural lay ; 
Since others long thy praises to rehearse, 
And sing thy battles in immortal verse. 10 

Yet if these songs, which Phoebus bids me write, 
Hereafter to the swains shall yield delight, 
Of thee the trees and humble shrubs shall sing, 
And all the vocal grove with Varus ring. 
The scng inscribed to Varus' sacred name 

1 The cave of Silenus, which is the scene of this eclogue, 
is delineated with sufficient accuracy. The time seems to be 
the evening-; at least the song does not cease, till the flocks 
are folded, and the evening star appears. 



OF BEATT1E. 211 

To Phoebus' favour has the justest claim. 

Come then, my Muse, a sylvan song repeat. 
'Twas in his shady arbour's cool retreat 
Two youthful swains the god Silenus found, 
In drunkenness and sleep his senses bound, 20 
His turgid veins the late debauch betray ; 
His garland on the ground neglected lay, 
Fallen from his head ; and by the well-worn ear 
His cup of ample size depended near. 
Sudden the swains the sleeping god surprise, 
And with his garland bind him as he lies, 
(No better chain at hand) incensed so long 
To be defrauded of their promised song. 
To aid their project, and remove their fears, 
iEgle, a beauteous fountain-nymph, appears ; 30 
Who, while he hardly opes his heavy eyes, 
His stupid brow with bloody berries dyes. 
Then smiling at the fraud Silenus said, 
" And dare you thus a sleeping god invade ? 
To see me was enough ; but haste, unloose 
My bonds ; the song no longer I refuse ; 
Unloose me, youths ; my song shall pay your pains ; 
For this fair nymph another boon remains." 

He sung ; responsive to the heavenly sound 
The stubborn oaks and forests dance around, 40 
Tripping the Satyrs and the Fauns advance, 
Wild beasts forget their rage, and join the general 

dance. 
Not so Parnassus' listening rocks rejoice, ' 

When Phoebus raises his celestial voice ; 



212 THE POEMS 

Nor Thraeia's echoing mountains so admire, 
When Orpheus strikes the loud-lamenting lyre. 
For first he sung of Nature's wondrous birth ; 
How seeds of water, air, and flame, and earth, 
Down the vast void with casual impulse hurled, 
Clung into shapes, and formed this fabric of the 

world. 50 

Then hardens by degrees the tender soil, 
And from the mighty mound the seas recoil. 
O'er the wide world new various forms arise ; 
The infant Sun along the brightened skies 
Begins his course, while Earth with glad amaze 
The blazing wonder from below surveys. 
The clouds sublime their genial moisture shed, 
And the green grove lifts high its leafy head. 
The savage beasts o'er desert mountains roam, 
Yet few their numbers, and unknown their home. 
He next the blest Saturnian ages sung ; 6i 

How a new race of men from Pyrrha sprung ; x 
Prometheus' daring theft, and dreadful doom, 
Whose growing heart devouring birds consume. 
Then names the spring, renowned for Hylas' fate, 
By the sad mariners bewailed too late ; 
They call on Hylas with repeated cries, 
And Hylas, Hylas, all the lonesome shore replies. 
Next he bewails Pasiphae (hapless dame !) 
Who for a bullock felt a brutal flame. 70 

What fury fires thy bosom, frantic queen ! 

1 See Ovid, Met. Lib. 1. 



OF BEATTIE. 213 

How happy thou, if herds had never been ! 
The maids, whom Juno, to avenge her wrong, 1 
Like heifers doomed to low the vales along, 
Ne'er felt the rage of thy detested fire, 
Ne'er were polluted with thy foul desire ; 
Though oft for horns they felt their polished brow, 
And their soft necks oft feared the galling plough. 
Ah wretched queen ! thou roam'st the mountain- 
waste, 
While, his white limbs on lilies laid to rest, so 
The half-digested herb again he chews, 
Or some fair female of the herd pursues. 
" Beset, ye Cretan nymphs, beset the grove, 
And trace the wandering footsteps of my love. 
Yet let my longing eyes my love behold, 
Before some favourite beauty of the fold 
Entice him with Gortynian 2 herds to stray, 
Where smile the vales in richer pasture gay." 
He sung how golden fruit's resistless grace 
Decoyed the wary virgin from the race. 3 90 

Then wraps in bark the mourning sisters round, 4 
And rears the lofty alders from the ground. 

1 Their names were Lysippe, Ipponoe, and Cyrianassa. 
Juno, to be avenged of them for preferring their own beauty 
to hers, struck them with madness, to such a degree, that they 
imagined themselves to be heifers. 

8 Gortyna was a city of Crete. See Ovid, Art. Am. 
Lib. I. 

3 Atalanta. See Ovid, Metamorph. Lib. X. 

4 See Ovid, Metamorph. Lib. II. 



214 THE POEMS 

He sung, while Gallus by Permessus 1 strayed, 

A sister of the nine the hero led 

To the Aonian hill ; the choir in haste 

Left their bright thrones, and hailed the welcome 

guest. 
Linus arose, for sacred song renowned, 
Whose brow a wreath of flowers and parsley bound ; 
And " Take/' he said, " this pipe, which heretofore 
The far-famed shepherd of Ascraea 2 bore ; 100 

Then heard the mountain-oaks its magic sound, 
Leaped from their hills, and thronging danced around. 
On this thou shalt renew the tuneful lay, 
And grateful songs to thy Apollo pay, 
Whose famed Grynaean 3 temple from thy strain 
Shall more exalted dignity obtain." 
Why should I sing unhappy Scylla's fate ? 4 
Sad monument of jealous Circe's hate ! 
Round her white breast what furious monsters roll, 
And to the dashing waves incessant howl : no 

How from the ships that bore Ulysses' crew 5 
Her dogs the trembling sailors dragged, and slew. 
Of Philomela's feast why should I sing, 6 

1 A river in Boeotia arising from Mount Helicon, sacred to 
the Muses. 

2 Hesiod 

3 Grynium was a maritime town of the Lesser Asia, where 
were an ancient temple and oracle of Apollo. 

4 See Yirgil, Mn. III. 

5 See Homer, Odyss. Lib. XII. 

6 See Ovid's Metamorph. Lib. VI. 



OF BEATTIE. 215 

And what dire chance befell the Thracian king ? 
Changed to a lapwing by th' avenging god, 
He made the barren waste his lone abode, 
And oft on soaring pinions hovered o'er 
The lofty palace then his own no more. 

The tuneful god renews each pleasing theme, 
Which Phoebus sung by blest Eurotas' stream ; 120 
When blessed Eurotas gently flowed along, 
And bade his laurels learn the lofty song. 
Silenus sung ; the vocal vales reply, 
And heavenly music charms the listening sky. 
But now their folds the numbered flocks invite, 
The star of evening sheds its trembling light, 
And the unwilling Heavens are wrapt in night. 



PASTORAL VII. 1 

MELIBCETJS, COETDON', THTESIS. 
MELIBCETJS. 

ENEATH an holm that murmured to 
the breeze 
The youthful Daphnis leaned in rural 
ease: 
With him two gay Arcadian swains reclined, 

1 The scene of this pastoral is as follows. Four shepherds, 
Daphnis in the most distinguished place, Corydon, Thyrsis, 




216 THE POEMS 

Who in the neighbouring vale their flocks had 

joined, 
Thyrsis, whose care it was the goats to keep, 
And Corydon, who fed the fleecy sheep ; 
Both in the flowery prime of youthful days, 
Both skilled in single or responsive lays. 
While I with busy hand a shelter form 
To guard my myrtles from the future storm, 10 
The husband of my goats had chanced to stray : 
To find the vagrant out I take my way. 
Wnich Daphnis seeing cries, " Dismiss your fear, 
Your kids and goat are all in safety here ; 
And, if no other care require your stay, 
Come, and with us unbend the toils of day 
In this cool shade ; at hand your heifers feed, 
And of themselves will to the watering speed ; 
Here fringed with reeds slow Mincius winds along, 
And round yon oak the bees soft-murmuring 

throng." 20 

What could I do ? for I was left alone, 
My Phyllis and Alcippe both were gone, 
And none remained to feed my weanling lambs, 
And to restrain them from their bleating dams : 

and Meliboeus, are seen reclining beneath an holm. Sheep 
and goats intermixed are feeding hard by. At a' little dis- 
tance Mincius fringed with reeds appears winding along. 
Fields and trees compose the surrounding scene. A venerable 
oak, with bees swarming around it, is particularly distin- 
guished. The time seems to be the forenoon of a summer- 
day. 



OF BEATT1E. 2L7 

Betwixt the swains a solemn match was set, 
To prove their skill, and end a long debate. 
Though serious matters claimed my due regard, 
Their pastime to my business I preferred. 
To sing by turns the Muse inspired the swains, 
And Corydon began th' alternate strains. 30 

CORYDON. 

Ye nymphs of Helicon, my sole desire ! 
warm my breast with all my Codnis' fire. 
If none can equal Codrus' heavenly lays, 
For next to Phoebus he deserves the praise, 
No more I ply the tuneful art divine, 
My silent pipe shall hang on yonder pine. 

THYRSIS. 

Arcadian swains, an ivy wreath bestow, 
With early honours crown your poet's brow ; 
Codrus shall chafe, if you my songs commend, 
Till burning spite his tortured entrails rend ; 40 
Or amulets, to bind my temples, frame, 
Lest his invidious praises blast my fame. 

CORYDON. 

A stag's tall horns, and stained with savage gore 
This bristled visage of a tusky boar, 
To thee, virgin-goddess of the chase, 
Young Mycon offers for thy former grace. 
If like success his future labours crown, 



218 THE POEMS 

Thine, goddess, then shall be a nobler boon, 
In polished marble thou shalt shine complete, 
And purple sandals shall adorn thy feet. 50 

THYRSIS. 

To thee, Priapus, 1 each returning year, 
This bowl of milk, these hallowed cakes we bear ; 
Thy care our garden is but meanly stored, 
And mean oblations all we can afford. 
But if our flocks a numerous offspring yield, 
And our decaying fold again be filled, 
Though now in marble thou obscurely shine, 
For thee a golden statue we design. 

COBYDON. 

Galatea, whiter than the swan, 

Loveliest of all thy sisters of the main, 60 

Sweeter than Hybla, more than lilies fair ! 
If ought of Corydon employ thy care, 
When shades of night involve the silent sky, 
And slumbering in their stalls the oxen lie, 
Come to my longing arms and let me prove 
Th' immortal sweets of Galatea's love. 

THTESIS. 

As the vile sea-weed scattered by the storm, 
As he whose face Sardinian herbs deform, 2 

1 This deity presided over gardens. 

a It "was the property of this poisonous herb to distort the 



OF BEATTIE. 219 

As burs and brambles that disgrace the plain, 
So nauseous, so detested be thy swain ; 70 

If when thine absence I am doomed to bear 
The day appears not longer than a year. 
Go home, my flocks, ye lengthen out the day, 
For shame, ye tardy flocks, for shame away ! 

COEYD01S". 

Ye mossy fountains, warbling as ye flow ! 
And softer than the slumbers ye bestow, 
Ye grassy banks ! ye trees with verdure crowned, 
Whose leaves a glimmering shade diffuse around ! 
Grant to my weary flocks a cool retreat, 
And screen them from the summer's raging heat ! 
For now the year in brightest glory shines, 81 

Now reddening clusters deck the bending vines. 

THYESIS. 

Here's wood for fuel ; here the fire displays 
To all around its animating blaze ; 
Black with continual smoke our posts appear ; 
Nor dread we more the rigour of the year, 
Than the fell wolf the fearful lambkins dreads, 
When he the helpless fold by night invades ; 
Or swelling torrents, headlong as they roil, 
The weak resistance of the shattered mole. 90 

features of those who had eaten of it, in such a manner, that 
they seemed to expire in an agony of laughter. 



220 THE POEMS 



COEYDOX. 

Now yellow harvests wave on every field, 
Now bending boughs the hoary chestnut yield, 
Now loaded trees resign their annual store, 
And on the ground the mellow fruitage pour ; 
Jocund, the face of Nature smiles, and gay ; 
But if the fair Alexis were away, 
Inclement drought the hardening soil would drain, 
And streams no longer murmur o'er the plain. 

THYESIS. 

A languid hue the thirsty fields assume, 
Parched to the root the flowers resign their bloom, 
The faded vines refuse their hills to shade, 101 

Their leafy verdure withered and decayed : 
But if my Phyllis on these plains appear, 
Again the groves their gayest green shall wear, 
Again the clouds their copious moisture lend, 
And in the genial rain shall Jove descend. 

COEYDON". 

Alcides' brows the poplar leaves surround, 
Apollo's beamy locks with bays are crowned, 
The myrtle, lovely queen of smiles, is thine, 
And jolly Bacchus loves the curling vine ; no 

But while my Phyllis loves the hazel-spray, 
To hazel yield the myrtle and the bay. 



OF BEATTIE. 221 

THYRSIS. 

The fir, the hills ; the ash adorns the woods ; 
The pine, the gardens ; and the poplar, floods. 
If thou, my Lyeidas, wilt deign to come, 
And cheer thy shepherd's solitary home, 
The ash so fair in woods, and garden-pine 
Will own their beauty far excelled by thine. 

MELIBCEUS. 

So sung the swains, but Thyrsis strove in vain ; 
Thus far I bear in mind th' alternate strain. 120 
Young Corydon acquired unrivalled fame, 
And still we pay a deference to his name. 



PASTORAL VIII. 1 

DAMOK, ALPHESIBCETJS. 

IEHEARSE we, Pollio, the enchanting 
strains 
Alternate sung by two contending 
swains. 
Charmed by their songs, the hungry heifers stood 

1 In this eighth pastoral no particular scene is described. 
The poet rehearses the songs of two contending swains, Da- 
mon and Alphesiboeus. The former adopts the soliloquy of 
a despairing lover: the latter chooses for his subject the 
magic rites of an enchantress forsaken by her lover, and re- 
calling him by the power of her spells. 




222 THE POEMS 

In deep amaze, unmindful of their food ; 

The listening lynxes laid their rage aside, 

The streams were silent, and forgot to glide. 

thou, where'er thou lead'st thy conquering host, 

Or by Timavus, 1 or th' Illyrian coast ! 

When shall my Muse, transported with the theme, 

In strains sublime my Pollio's deeds proclaim ; 10 

And celebrate thy lays by all admired, 

Such as of old Sophocles' Muse inspired ? 

To thee, the patron of my rural songs, 

To thee my first, my latest lay belongs. 

Then let this humble ivy-wreath enclose, 

Twined with triumphal bays, thy godlike brows. 

What time the chill sky brightens with the dawn, 
When cattle love to crop the dewy lawn, 
Thus Damon to the woodlands wild complained, 
As 'gainst an olive's lofty trunk he leaned. 20 

DAMON. 

Lead on the genial day, star of morn ! 
While wretched I, all hopeless and forlorn, 
With my last breath my fatal woes deplore, 
And call the gods by whom false Nisa swore ; 
Though they, regardless of a lover's pain, 
Heard her repeated vows, and heard in vain. 
Begin, my pipe, the sweet Msenalian strain. 2 

1 A river in Italy. 

2 This intercalary line (as it is called by the commenta- 
tors) which seems to be intended as a chorus or burden to the 



OF BEATTIE. 223 

Blest Maenalus ! that hears the pastoral song 
Still languishing its tuneful groves along ! 
That hears th' Arcadian god's celestial lay, 30 

Who taught the idly-rustling reeds to play ! 
That hears the singing pines ! that hears the 

swain 
Of love's soft chains melodiously complain ! 
Begin, my pipe, the sweet Maenalian strain. 

Mopsus the willing Nisa now enjoys — 
What may not lovers hope from such a choice ! 
Now mares and griffins shall their hate resign, 
And the succeeding age shall see them join 
In friendship's tie ; now mutual love shall bring 
The dog and doe to share the friendly spring. 40 
Scatter thy nuts, Mopsus, and prepare 
The nuptial torch to light the wedded fair. 
Lo, Hesper hastens to the western main ! 
And thine the night of bliss — thine, happy swain ! 
Begin, my pipe, the sweet Maenalian strain. 

Exult, Nisa, in thy happy state ! 
Supremely blest in such a worthy mate ; 
While you my beard detest, and bushy brow, 
And think the gods forget the world below : 
While you my flock and rural pipe disdain, so 

And treat with bitter scorn a faithful swain. 
Begin, my pipe, the sweet Maenalian strain. 

song, is here made the last of a triplet, that it may be as in- 
dependent of the context and the verse in the translation as 
it is in the original. — Maenalus was a mountain of Arcadia. 



224 THE POEMS 

When first I saw you by your mother's side, 
To where our apples grew I was your guide ; 
Twelve summers since my birth had rolled around, 
And I could reach the branches from the ground. 
How did I gaze ! — how perish ! — ah how vain 
The fond bewitching hopes that soothed my pain ! 
Begin, my pipe, the sweet Msenalian strain. 

Too well I know thee, Love. From Scythian 
snows, 60 

Or Lybia's burning sands the mischief rose. 
Rocks adamantine nursed this foreign bane, 
This fell invader of the peaceful plain. 
Begin, my pipe, the sweet Msenalian strain. 

Love taught the mother's 1 murdering hand to 
kill, 
Her children's blood love bade the mother spill. 
Was love the cruel cause ? 2 Or did the deed 
From fierce unfeeling cruelty proceed ? 
Both filled her brutal bosom with their bane ; 
Both urged the deed, while Nature shrunk in vain. 
Begin, my pipe, the sweet Maenalian strain. 71 

Now let the fearful lamb the wolf devour ; 
Let alders blossom with Narcissus' flower ; 
From barren shrubs let radiant amber flow ; 

Medea. 
2 This seems to be Virgil's meaning. The translator did 
no t choose to preserve the conceit on the words puer and 
mater in his version ; as this (in bis opinion) would have 
rendered the passage obscure and uupleasing to an English 
reader. 



OF BEATTIE. 225 

Let rugged oaks with golden fruitage glow ; 

Let shrieking owls with swans melodious vie ; 

Let Tityrus the Thracian numbers try, 

Outrival Orpheus in the sylvan reign, 

And emulate Arion on the main. 

Begin, my pipe, the sweet Msenalian strain. so 

Let land no more the swelling waves divide; 
Earth, be thou whelmed beneath the boundless 

tide; 
Headlong from yonder promontory's brow 
I plunge into the rolling deep below. 
Farewell, ye woods ! farewell, thou flowery plain ! 
Hear the last last lay of a despairing swain. 
And cease, my pipe, the sweet Maenalian strain. 

Here Damon ceased. And now, ye tuneful 
Nine, 
Alphesibceus' magic verse subjoin, 
To his responsive song your aid we call, 90 

Our power extends not equally to all. 

ALPHESIBffiTTS. 

Bring living waters from the silver stream, 
With vervain and fat incense feed the flame : 
With this soft wreath the sacred altars bind, 
To move my cruel Daphnis to be kind, 
And with my phrensy to inflame his soul ; 
Charms are but wanting to complete the whole. 
Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 



226 THE POEMS 

By powerful charms what prodigies are done ! 
Charms draw pale Cynthia from her silver throne ; 
Charms burst the bloated snake, and Circe's 1 

guests 101 

By mighty magic charms were changed to beasts, 
Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 

Three woollen wreaths, and each of triple dye, 
Three times about thy image I apply, 
Then thrice I bear it round the sacred shrine ; 
Uneven numbers please the powers divine. 109 

Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 

Haste, let three colours with three knots be joined, 
And say, " Thy fetters, Venus, thus I bind." 
Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long -lost love, my powerful charms. 

As this soft clay is hardened by the flame, 
And as this wax is softened by the same, 
My love, that hardened Daphnis to disdain, 
Shall soften his relenting heart again. 
Scatter the salted corn, and place the bays, 120 
And with fat brimstone light the sacred blaze. 
Daphnis my burning passion slights with scorn, 
And Daphnis in this blazing bay I burn. 
Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 

As when, to find her love, an heifer roams 
Through trackless groves, and solitary glooms ; 

1 See Horn. Odyss. Lib. X. 



OF BEATT1E. 227 

Sick with desire, abandoned to her woes, 
By some lone stream her languid limbs she throws; 
There in deep anguish wastes the tedious night, 130 
Nor thoughts of home her late return invite : 
Thus may he live, and thus indulge his pain, 
While I enhance his torments with disdain. 
Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 

These robes beneath the threshold here I leave, 
These pledges of his love, Earth, receive. 
Ye dear memorials of our mutual fire, 
Of you my faithless Daphnis I require. 
Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, :40 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 

These deadly poisons, and these magic weeds, 
Selected from the store which Pontus breeds, 
Sage Mceris gave me ; oft I saw him prove 
Their sovereign power ; by these, along the grove 
A prowling wolf the dread magician roams ; 
Now gliding ghosts from the profoundest tombs 
Inspired he calls ; the rooted corn he wings, 
And to strange fields the flying harvest brings. 149 
Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 

These ashes from the altar take with speed, 
And treading backwards cast them o'er your head 
Into the running stream, nor turn your eye. 
Yet this last spell, though hopeless, let me try. 
But nought can move the unrelenting swain, 
And spells, and magic verse, and gods are vain. 



228 THE POEMS 

Bring Daphnis home, bring Daphnis to my arms, 
bring my long-lost love, my powerful charms. 

Lo, while I linger, with spontaneous fire 160 
The ashes redden, and the flames aspire ! 
May this new prodigy auspicious prove ! 
What fearful hopes my beating bosom move ! 
Hark ! does not Hylax bark ? — ye powers supreme, 
Can it be real, or do lovers dream ? — 
He comes, my Daphnis comes ! forbear my charms ; 
My love, my Daphnis flies to bless my longing arms. 



PASTORAL IX.- 

LTCIDAS, MCEBIS. 
LTCIDAS. 

you to town, my friend ? this beaten 
way 
Conducts us thither. 

MCEBIS. 

Ah ! the fatal day, 
The unexpected day at last is come, 

1 This and the first eclogue seem to have been written on 
the same occasion. The time is a still evening. The land- 
scape is described at the 97th line of this translation. On 
one side of the highway is an artificial arbour, where Lycidas 
invites Moeris to rest a little from the fatigue of his journey : 




OF BEATTIE. 229 

When a rude alien drives us from our home. 
Hence, hence, ye clowns, th' usurper thus com- 
mands, 
To me you must resign your ancient lands. 
Thus helpless and forlorn we yield to fate ; 
And our rapacious lord to mitigate 
This brace of kids a present I design, 10 

Which load with curses, ye powers divine ! 

LTCIDAS. 

'Twas said, Menalcas with his tuneful strains 
Had saved the grounds of all the neighbouring 

swains, 
From where the hill, that terminates the vale, 
In easy risings first begins to swell, 
Far as the blasted beech that mates the sky, 
And the clear stream that gently murmurs by. 

and at a considerable distance appears a sepulchre by the 
way-side, where the ancient sepulchres were commonly 
erected. 

The critics with one voice seem to condemn this eclogue as 
unworthy of its author ; I know not for what good reason. 
The many beautiful lines scattered through it would, one 
might think, be no weak recommendation. But it is by no 
means to be reckoned a loose collection of incoherent frag- 
ments; its principal parts are all strictly connected, and refer 
to a certain end, and its allusions and images are wholly 
suited to pastoral life. Its subject though uncommon is not 
improper; for what is more natural, than that two shepherds 
when occasionally mentioning the good qualities of their ab- 
sent friend, particularly his poetical talents, should repeat 
such fragments of his songs as they recollected ? 



230 THE POEMS 

MGEEIS. 

Such was the voice of fame; but music's charms, 
Amid the dreadful clang of warlike arms, 
Avail no more, than the Chaonian dove, 20 

When down the sky descends the bird of Jove. 
And had not the prophetic raven spoke 
His dire presages from the hollow oak, 
And often warned me to avoid debate, 
And with a patient mind submit to fate, 
Ne'er had thy Moeris seen this fatal hour, 
And that melodious swain had been no more. 

LYCIDAS. 

What horrid breasts such impious thoughts 
could breed ? 
What barbarous hand could make Menalcas bleed? 
Could every tender Muse in him destroy, 30 

And from the shepherds ravish all their joy ? 
For who but he the lovely nymphs could sing, 
Or paint the valleys with the purple spring ? 
Who shade the fountains from the glare of day ? 
Who but Menalcas could compose the lay, 
Which, as we journeyed to my love's abode, 
I softly sung to cheer the lonely road ? 
•' Tityrus, while I am absent, feed the flock, 1 
And, having fed, conduct them to the brook, 

1 These lines, which Virgil has translated literally from 
Theocritus, may he supposed to be a fragment of a poem 
mentioned in the preceding verses ; or, what is more likely, 



OF BEATTIE. 231 

(The way is short, and I shall soon return) 40 

But shun the he-goat with the butting horn." 

M03KIS. 

Or who could finish the imperfect lays 
Sung by Menalcas to his Varus' praise ? 
" If fortune yet shall spare the Mantuan swains, 
And save from plundering hands our peaceful 

plains, 
Nor doom us sad Cremona's fate to share, 
(For ah ! a neighbour's woe excites our fear) 
Then high as Heaven our Varus' fame shall rise, 
The warbling swans shall bear it to the skies." 

LYCIDAS. 

Go on, dear swain, these pleasing songs pursue ; 50 
So may thy bees avoid the bitter yew, 
So may rich herds thy fruitful fields adorn, 
So may thy cows with strutting dugs return. 
Even I with poets have obtained a name, 
The Muse inspires me with poetic flame ; 
Th' applauding shepherds to my songs attend, 
But I suspect my skill, though they commend. 
I dare not hope to please a Cinna's ear, 
Or sing what Varus might vouchsafe to hear. 
Harsh are the sweetest lays that I can bring, m 
So screams a goose where swans melodious sing. 

to be spoken by Lycidas to his servant ; something similar to 
which may be seen, Past. 5, v. 20, of this translation. — The 
original is here remarkably explicit, even to a degree of 
affectation. This the translator has endeavoured to imitate. 



232 THE POEMS 

MCEMS. 

This I am pondering, if I can rehearse 
The lofty numbers of that laboured verse. 
" Come, Galatea, leave the rolling seas ; 
Can rugged rocks and heaving surges please ? 
Come, taste the pleasures of our sylvan bowers, 
Our balmy-breathing gales, and fragrant flowers. 
See, how our plains rejoice on every side, 
How crystal streams thro' blooming valleys glide : 
O'er the cool grot the whitening poplars bend, 70 
And clasping vines their grateful umbrage lend. 
Come, beauteous nymph, forsake the briny wave. 
Loud on the beach let the wild billows rave." 

LTCIDAS. 

Or what you sung one evening on the plain — 
The air, but not the words, I yet retain. 

MCEEIS. 

" Why, Daphnis, dost thou calculate the skies 

To know when ancient constellations rise ? 

Lo, Caesar's star its radiant light displays, 

And on the nations sheds propitious rays. 

On the glad hills the reddening clusters glow, so 

And smiling plenty decks the plains below. 

Now graff thy pears ; the star of Csesar reigns, 

To thy remotest race the fruit remains." 

The rest I have forgot, for length of years 

Deadens the sense, and memory impairs. 



OF BEATTIE. 233 

All things in time submit to sad decay ; 
Oft have we sung whole summer suns away. 
These vanished joys must Moeris now deplore, 
His voice delights, his numbers charm no more ; 
Him have the wolves beheld, bewitched his song, 1 vo 
Bewitched to silence his melodious tongue. 
But your desire Menalcas can fulfill, 
All these, and more, he sings with matchless skill. 

LTCIDAS. 

These faint excuses which my Moeris frames 
But heighten my desire. — And now the streams 
In slumber-soothing murmurs softly flow ; 
And now the sighing breeze hath ceased to blow. 
Half of our way is past, for I descry 
Bianor's tomb just rising to the eye. 2 
Here in this leafy arbour ease your toil, 100 

Lay down your kids, and let us sing the while : 
We soon shall reach the town ; or, lest a storm 
Of sudden rain the evening sky deform, 
Be yours to cheer the journey with a song, 
Eased of your load, which I shall bear along. 

M03RIS. 

No more, my friend ; your kind entreaties spare, 
And let our journey be our present care ; 
Let fate restore our absent friend again, 
Then gladly I resume the tuneful strain. 

1 In Italia creditur luporum visus esse noxius; voeemque 
homini quem priores contemplentur adimere ad praesens. 

Plin. N. H. VI IT. 22. 

2 Bianor is said to have founded Mantua. — Servius. 



234 THE POEMS 



PASTORAL X. 1 



GALLT7S. 




"0 my last labour lend thy sacred aid, 
Arethusa : that the cruel maid 
With deep remorse may read the mourn- 
ful song, 

For mournful lays to Gallus' love belong. 
(What Muse in sympathy will not bestow 
Some tender strains to soothe my Gallus' woe ?) 

1 The scene of this pastoral is very accurately delineated. 
We behold the forlorn Gallus stretched along beneath a soli- 
tary cliff, his flocks standing round him at some distance. 
A group of deities and swains encircle him, each of whom 
is particularly described. On one side we see the shepherds 
with their crooks ; next to them the neatherds, known by 
the clumsiness of their appearance ; and next to these Menal- 
cas with his clothes wet, as just come from beating or gather- 
ing winter-mast. On the other side we observe Apollo with 
his usual insignia ; Sylvanus crowned with flowers, and bran- 
dishing in his hand the long lilies and flowering fennel; 
and last of all Pan, the god of shepherds, known by his 
ruddy smiling countenance, and the other peculiarities of 
his form. 

Gallus was a Roman of very considerable rank, a poet of 
no small estimation, and an intimate friend of Virgil. He 
loved to distraction one Cytheris (here called Lycoris) who 
slighted him, and followed Antony into Gaul. 



OF BEATTIE. 235 

So may thy waters pure of briny stain 
Traverse the waves of the Sicilian main. 
Sing, mournful Muse, of Gallus' luckless love, 
While the goats browse along the cliffs above. 10 
Nor silent is the waste while we complain, 
The woods return the long-resounding strain. 
Whither, ye fountain-nymphs, were ye with- 
drawn, 
To what lone woodland, or what devious lawn, 
When Gallus' bosom languished with the fire 
Of hopeless love, and unallayed desire ? 
For neither by th' Aonian spring you strayed, 
Nor roamed Parnassus' heights, nor Pindus' hal- 
lowed shade. 
The pines of Maenalus were heard to mourn, 1? 
And sounds of woe along the groves were borne. 
And sympathetic tears the laurel shed, 
And humbler shrubs declined their drooping head. 
All wept his fate, when to despair resigned 
Beneath a desert-cliff he lay reclined. 
Lyceus' rocks were hung with many a tear, 
And round the swain his flocks forlorn appear. 
Nor scorn, celestial bard, a poet's name ; 
Renowned Adonis by the lonely stream 
Tended his flock. — As thus he lay along, 
The swains and awkward neatherds round him 

throng. 30 

Wet from the winter-mast Menalcas came. 
All ask, what beauty raised the fatal flame. 
The god of verse vouchsafed to join the rest ; 



236 THE POEMS 

He said, " What phrensy thus torments thy breast ? 
While she, thy darling, thy Lycoris, scorns 
Thy proffered love, and for another burns, 
With whom o'er winter-wastes she wanders far, 
'Midst camps, and clashing arms, and boisterous 

war." 
Sylvanus came with rural garlands crowned, 
And waved the lilies long, and flowering fennel 

round. 40 

Next we beheld the gay Arcadian god ; 
His smiling cheeks with bright vermilion glowed. 
" For ever wilt thou heave the bursting sigh ? 
Is love regardful of the weeping eye ? 
Love is not cloyed with tears ; alas, no more 
Than bees luxurious with the balmy flow'r, 
Than goats with foliage, than the grassy plain 
With silver rills and soft refreshing rain." 
Pan spoke ; and thus the youth with grief opprest ; 
" Arcadians, hear, hear my last request ; 50 
ye, to whom the sweetest lays belong, 
let my sorrows on your hills be sung : 
If your soft flutes shall celebrate my woes, 
How will my bones in deepest peace repose ! 
Ah had I been with you a country-swain, 
And pruned the vine, and fed the bleating train ; 
Had Phyllis, or some other rural fair, 
Or black Amyntas been my darling care ; 
(Beauteous though black ; what lovelier flower is 

seen 
Than the dark violet on the painted green ?) 60 



OF BEATTIE. 237 

These in the bower had yielded all their charms, 

And sunk with mutual raptures in my arms : 

Phyllis had crowned my head with garlands gay, 

Amyntas sung the pleasing hours away. 

Here, Lycoris, purls the limped spring, 

Bloom all the meads, and all the woodlands sing ; 

Here let me press thee to my panting breast, 

Till youth, and joy, and life itself be past. 

Banished by love o'er hostile lands I stray, 

And mingle in the battle's dread array ; 70 

Whilst thou, relentless to my constant flame, 

(Ah could I disbelieve the voice of fame !) 

Far from thy home, unaided and forlorn, 

Far from thy love, thy faithful love, art borne, 

On the bleak Alps with chilling blast to pine, 

Or wander waste along the frozen Rhine. 

Ye icy paths, spare her tender form ! 

spare those heavenly charms, thou wintry storm ! 
" Hence let me hasten to some desert-grove, 

And soothe with songs my long unanswered love. 

1 go, in some lone wilderness to suit si 
Eubcean lays to my Sicilian flute. 

Better with beasts of prey to make abode 

In the deep cavern, or the darksome wood ; 

And carve on trees the story of my woe, 

Which with the growing bark shall ever grow. 

Meanwhile with woodland-nymphs, a lovely throng, 

The winding groves of Maenalus along 

I roam at large ; or chase the foaming boar ; 

Or with sagacious hounds the wilds explore, 90 



238 THE POEMS 

Careless of cold. And now methinks I bound 
O'er rocks and cliffs, and hear the woods resound ; 
And now with beating heart I seem to wing 
The Cretan arrow from the Parthian string — 
As if I thus my phrensy could forego, 
As if love's god could melt at human woe. 
Alas ! nor nymphs nor heavenly songs delight — 
Farewell, ye groves ! the groves no more invite. 
No pains, no miseries of man can move 
The unrelenting deity of love. 100 

To quench your thirst in Hebrus' frozen flood, 
To make the Scythian snows your drear abode ; 
Or feed your flock on Ethiopian plains, 
When Sirius' fiery constellation reigns, 
(When deep-imbrowned the languid herbage lies, 
And in the elm the vivid verdure dies) 
Were all in vain. Love's unresisted sway 
Extends to all, and we must love obey." 

'Tis done ; ye Nine, here ends your poet's strain 
In pity sung to soothe his Gallus' pain. no 

While leaning on a flowery bank I twine 
The flexile osiers, and the basket join. 
Celestial Nine, your sacred influence bring, 
And soothe my Gallus' sorrows while I sing : 
Gallus, my much beloved ! for whom I feel 
The flame of purest friendship rising still : 
So by a brook the verdant alders rise, 
When fostering zephyrs fan the vernal skies. 

Let us begone : at eve, the shade annoys 
With noxious damps, and hurts the singer's voice ; 



OF BEATTIE. 239 

The juniper breathes bitter vapours round, 121 
That kill the springing corn, and blast the ground. 
Homeward, my sated goats, now let us hie ; 
Lo beamy Hesper gilds the western sky. 




EPITAPH FOR A SHERIFF'S MESSENGER; 

WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED AT THE PARTICULAR DESIRE 
OF THE PERSON FOR WHOM IT IS INTENDED. 

'LAS, how empty all our worldly schemes ; 
Vain are our wishes, our enjoyment 

dreams. 
A debt to nature one and all must pay, 
Nor will the creditor defer her day ; 
Death comes a messenger, displays the writ, 
And to the fatal summons all submit. 
An earthly messenger I was of yore, 
The scourge of debtors then, but now — no more. 
Oft have I stood in all my pomp confessed, 
The blazon beaming dreadful at my breast ; ic 
Oft have I waved on high th' attractive rod, 
And made the wretch obsequious to my nod. 
Pale shivering Poverty, that stalked behind, 
His greasy rags loose fluttering in the wind, 
And Terror, cudgel-armed, that strode before, 
Still to my deeds unquestioned witness bore. 
Dire execution, as I marched, was spread ; 



240 THE POEMS 

My threatening horn they heard — they heard and 

fled. 
While thus destruction marked my headlong course, 
Nor mortals durst oppose my matchless force, 20 
A deadly warrant from the court of heaven 
To Death, the sovereign messenger, was given. 
Swift as the lightning's instantaneous flame, 
Armed with his dart, the king of catchpoles came. 
My heart, unmoved before, was seized with fear, 
And sunk beneath his all-subduing spear ; 
To heaven's high bar the spirit winged its way, 
And left the carcase forfeit to the clay. 

Reader ! though every ill beset thee round, 
With patience bear, nor servilely despond ; 30 

Though Heaven awhile delay th' impending blow, 
Heaven sees the sorrows of the world below, 
And sets at last the suffering mourner free 
From famine, misery, pestilence, and me. 

June 28th, 1759. Mont. Abd. Ford. 




OF EEATTIE. 241 



TO MR. ALEXANDER ROSS, 

AT LOCHLEE, AUTHOR OF THE FORTUNATE SHEPHERDESS 

AND OTHER POEMS IN THE BROAD 

SCOTCH DIAL.ECT. 

ROSS, thou wale of hearty cocks, 
Sae crouse and canty with thy jokes ! 
Thy namely auldwarl'd muse provokes 
Me for awhile 
To ape our guid plain countra' folks 
In verse and stile. 

Sure never carle was haff sae gabby 
E're since the winsome days o' Habby : 
mayst thou ne'er gang, clung, or shabby, 

Nor miss thy snaker ! 10 

Or I'll ca' fortune nasty drabby, 

And say — pox take her ! 

may the roupe ne'er roust thy weason, 
May thirst thy thrapple never gizzen ! 
But bottled ale in mony a dizzen, 

Aye lade thy gantry ! 
And fouth o'vivres a' in season, 

Plenish thy pantry ! 

Lang may thy stevin fill wi' glee 
The glens and mountains of Lochlee, 20 

Which were right gowsty but for thee, 
Whase sangs enamour 



242 THE POEMS 

Ilk lass, and teach wi' melody 

The rocks to yamour. 

Ye shak your head, but, o' my fegs, 
Ye've set old Scota * on her legs, 
Lang had she lyen wi' beffs and flegs, 

Bumbaz'd and dizzie ; 
Her fiddle wanted strings and pegs, 

Waes me ! poor hizzie ! so 

Since Allan's death naebody car'd 
For anes to speer how Scota far'd, 
Nor plack nor thristled turner war'd 

To quench her drouth ; 
For frae the cottar to the laird 

We a' rin South. 

The Southland chiels indeed hae mettle, 
And brawley at a sang can ettle, 
Yet we right couthily might settle 

0' this side Forth. 40 

The devil pay them wi' a pettle 

That slight the North. 

Our countra leed is far frae barren, 
It's even right pithy and aulfarren, 
Oursells are neiper-like, I warran, 

For sense and smergh ; 
In kittle times when faes are yarring, 

We're no thought ergh. 

1 The name Ross gives to his muse. 



OF BEATT1E. 243 

Oh ! bonny are our greensward hows, 

Where through the birks the birny rows, so 

And the bee bums, and the ox lows, 

And saft winds rusle ; 
And shepherd lads on sunny knows 

Blaw the blythe fusle. 

It's true, we Norlans manna fa' 
To eat sae nice or gang sae bra', 
As they that come from far awa, 

Yet sma's our skaith ; 
We've peace (and that's well worth it a"» 

And meat and claith. eo 

Our fine newfangle sparks, I grant ye, 
Gi'e poor auld Scotland mony a taunty ; 
They're grown sae ugertfu' and vaunty, 

And capernoited, 
They guide her like a canker'd aunty 

That's deaf and doited. 

Sae comes of ignorance I trow, 

It's this that crooks their ill fa'r'd mou' 

WY jokes sae course, they gar fouk spue 

For downright skonner ; 70 

For Scotland wants na sons enew 

To do her honour. 

I here might gie a skreed 0' names, 
Dawties of Heliconian dames ! 



244 THE POEMS OF BEATTIE. 

The foremost place Gawin Douglas claims, 

That canty priest ; 
And wha can match the fifth King James 

For sang or jest ? 

Montgomery grave, and Ramsay gay, 

Dunbar, Scot, 1 Hawthornden, and mae so 

Than I can tell ; for o' my fae, 

I maun break afF; 
'Twould take a live lang simmer day 

To name the haff. 

The saucy chiels — I think they ca' them 

Criticks, the muckle sorrow claw them, 

(For mense nor manners ne'er could awe them 

Frae their presumption) 
They need nae try thy jokes to fathom ; 

They want rumgumption. 90 

But ilka Mearns and Angus beam, 

Thy tales and sangs by heart shall learn, 

And chiels shall come frae yont the Cairn — 

— Amounth, right yousty, 
If Ross will be so kind as share in 

Their pint at Drousty. 2 

1 Author of the Vision — [It was written by Ramsay 
under the name of Scot. A. D.] 
* An alehouse in Lochlee. 



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